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Full text of "Memoirs of the life and martyrdom of John Bradford, with his examinations, letters, &c. arranged in chronological order. Together with a translation of Bishop Gardiner's book "De vera obedientia," and Bonner's "Prefatory letter""

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MEMOm-S' 

OF THE 

LIFE AND MARTYRDOM 

OF 

JOHN BRADFORD, M.A. 

of ^emfcrofte Hall, (ffamtitttrge ; 



EXAMINATIONS, LETTERS, 

ARRANGED IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER. 



TOGETHER WITH 

& translation of 

BISHOP GARDINER'S BOOK, " DE VERA OBEDIENTIA," AND BONNER'S 
"PREFATORY LETTER;" 

BOTH IN DEFENCE OF THE SUPREMACY AND OF THE DIVORCE OF HENRY VIII. 



" Ea sunt vetustissima Ecclesiae martyria, quorum lectioue piorum animus ita afficitur, ut 
nunquam satur inde recedat. Quod quidem ita esse, unusquisque pro suo et couscientiae modo 
sentire potest. Ccrte ego nihil unquam in Historia Ecclesiastica vidi, a cujus lectione 
commotior recedam, ut non amplius meus esse videar." Jos. SCALIGER. 



BY WILLIAM STEVENS. 



LONDON : 

PRINTED FOR R. FENN, HOMER'S HEAD, CHARING CROSS ; 
AND T. STEVENSON, CAMBRIDGE. 



a 



GIFT 0? 
PROFESSOR C,A. KOFOIO 

CROYDON : PRINTED BY WILLIAM ANNAN, HIGH STKLill. 



" He was a man of great learning, elocution, sweetness of temper, and profound 
devotion towards God." Strype Eccl, Mem. vol. iii. pt. i. 363. 



" He was a most pious Christian, and is said to have done as much service to the 
reformation by his letters from prison, as toy his preaching in the pulpit." Neale 
Pur. i. 85. 



" In these letters shine forth such a spirit of inflexible constancy in his principles ; 
such a primitive and apostolic zeal for the propagation of truth; such a sincere 
abhorrence of the gross, mercenary, and presumptuous delusions of the Church of 
Rome ; that it is as little wonder they have been so carefully transmitted to us, by the 
friends and favourers of the reformation, as that the enemies to it should cut off, as 
soon as they could, the increase of them." Biog. Brit. vol. ii. 547. 



TO THE RIGHT REVEREND, 

THE LORD BISHOP OF LONDON. 



MY LORD, 

FROM the nature of some of the remarks 
contained in the Notes and Appendix to the 
following work, you will perhaps be sur- 
prised that I should address it to a prelate of 
the Church of England. I certainly had no 
thoughts of doing so originally ; but happening 
to be at Hampton on the day when you 
consecrated the new church in that village, 
I had the gratification to hear the sermon you 
preached upon that occasion a sermon, my 
Lord, well calculated to promote the interests 
of your own Church, without attacking or 
impugning the views of persons of other 
denominations, if any such were there. 

It was, moreover, a faithful Christian 
appeal and exhortation, and was evidently 
delivered by one who, himself above the fear 
of man, felt alike the importance of his 
message, and his own responsibility. 



VI 

The entire absence of sectarianism how- 
ever, my Lord, and that judicious propriety 
which, whilst you carefully observed the rites 
and ceremonies of your own communion; 
abstained alike from unduly exalting that 
communion, or holding up others to reproach 
or contempt a practice so usual with mem- 
bers of hierarchies has chiefly induced me 
thus to address you. 

But for what purpose ? Not, my Lord, as 
as enemy to the Established Church, for lam 
one of her unworthy sons ; but to draw your 
attention to some particular considerations, 
which have long weighed upon my mind, and 
which are not the offspring of any of those 
extraordinary movements, which characterize 
the present sera. 

Thirty years ago, my Lord, I wrote and 
published, that the state of the National 
Church was such, that she could not go 
on much longer, unless effectual remedies 
were applied to various abuses and practices, 
which crushed her to the ground. Since that 
period, she has, in many respects, assumed a 
more decent and more respectable exterior 
but have the abuses been rectified ? 

Whether the reformation in England has 
ever proceeded so far as the father of the 



Vll 

English Church, Archbishop Cranmer, origi- 
nally intended ; or whether abuses have 
arisen from the natural tendency to degene- 
rate, which is innate to every thing human ; 
or from the connection of the hierarchy with 
the politics of the state ; it is manifest that 
such abuses exist ; and he alone is a true 
and sincere friend to the national hierarchy, 
who will faithfully point out, and steadily 
pursue every legitimate and proper means, 
to relieve her from their weight and incubus. 

I know well enough, my Lord, that those 
who wrap themselves up in the delusive 
security of quietism, will readily denounce 
me as an enemy to the hierarchy ; but, my 
Lord, such characters are her real, and if 
not her only enemies, at least, those only 
who are to be dreaded. What, my Lord, is 
the kind friend or conscientious physician, 
who is anxious to administer a wholesome 
and sanatory medicine, in order to rebuke a 
disease which is consuming the vitals, to be 
repudiated and reproached ; whilst some base 
and interested flatterer, who encourages the 
dying but unconscious patient to refuse all 
medicine, and thus allows the disease to be- 
come incurable, to be hailed as the only re'al 
friend ! Such, my Lord, are some, I nught 



Vlll 

say almost all, the public writers of the 
present day; and I hesitate not to assert, 
that there is no more pestilent doctrine afloat, 
or one more calculated to overturn, and propel 
all our institutions to their ruin, than that 
one opinion. 

There is, my Lord, one melancholy feature 
in the present times one which has struck 
me more forcibly, and with more painful 
apprehensions, than almost all the rest; be- 
cause inasmuch as one can hardly anticipate, 
how it can be removed by any human means, 
it almost leads to the conclusion described 
by the epigrammatist, " Quos Deus vult 
perdere, prius dementat." 

The awful feature to which I allude is the 
present state of partiesin this country ; that is, 
that whilst there may be good reasons to fear 
one great party in the state, which appears 
anxious to redress public grievances, and 
promote liberal and enlightened views of 
policy, is not very anxious to promote the 
cause of religious truth ; and whilst it is at 
least equally clear that another great party 
in the state, which makes an outward pro- 
fession of being greatly alarmed, lest religion, 
avt least what they mean by religion, viz. 
the national hierarchy, should be injured, 



IX 



opposes itself, totis viribus, to every attempt 
for removing abuses either in church or 
state ; yet that both these parties, as it were 
by common consent, unite in despising, 
reproaching, and vilifying a third party, in 
which alone, any thing like true religion is 
to be found. And I mean not, my Lord, by 
that third party, any particular denomina- 
tion, or fanciful creed or doctrine ; but gene- 
rally all truly conscientious persons of all the 
orthodox denominations, who, in their lives, 
conduct, and conversation, shew plainly that 
with them at least, the religion of our Divine 
Saviour, is something more than a system, 
something beyond a machine of state. 

I do not think I need say more to your 
Lordship. I feel assured that the preceding 
remark is so obvious, as to require only to be 
noticed to be most manifest. 

Far indeed, my Lord, is it from my in- 
tention, to go into particulars in this letter ; 
but to shew that it does not necessarily 
follow that any person who alleges there are 
abuses in the hierarchy, and is anxious to 
remedy them, must be either her open or 
secret enemy ; and also to shew that I have 
used no exaggeration, I will draw your Lord- 
ship's attention to the remarks of one, than 



whom the Church of England, never had a 
more zealous friend, or more affectionate 
son.* 

<fc I will assure the reader, there is a great 
deal of cant, in the world, beside that of 
fanaticism and affected devotion. Impiety can 
act the hypocrite upon occasion, and magnify 
moral virtue., when it is S3t in opposition to 
the Love of God" " Deists, infidels, and 
moral philosophers, are glad to hear of a rule 
of morality which will serve as a substitute for 
the Christian life, and all the forms of church 
devotion. Here also we find those Christians, 
who live in the habitual neglect of the means 
of grace. I have heard people who never were 
at the altar, and perhaps never intended it, 
comforting themselves with this consideration, 
that they never did any harm to any body ; 
when they should rather have asked them- 
selves what good they ever did to themselves, 
or to any body else, for the Love of God? 
without which, all the virtues of man are 
nothing ; and if he places any dependance upon 
them, they are worse than nothing." " Simple 
morality is not Christianity." " Great things 
have been attributed of late times, to moral 

* The late Rev. Win. Jones, of Nayland. 



XI 



preaching ; but there is no such thing as telling 
people what they are to do, without telling 
them what they are to believe; because the 
Christian morality is built upon the Christian 
faith, and is totally different from the morality 
of heathens" " To recommend moral duties, 
on the ground of natural religion, is to preach 
Deism from a pulpit ; and we should ask 
ourselves, whether God, who upholds his 
Church to declare salvation by Jesus Christ 
aiorte, will preserve a Church when it has left 
the Gospel, and holds forth the light of Deism 
in the candlestick which was made, and is 
supported in the world, only to hold forth the 
light of Christianity?"'-" I would not, for the 
whole world, and all the kingdoms of it, be 
in doubt, whether I was translated or not, 
into the kingdom of Jesus Christ." " To any 
particular or national Church, all temporal 
allowances are but momentary considerations, 
which pass away with the fashion of this 
world ; and the Church may be either with 
them or without them, as it was in the first 
ages" " If we look at our own Church, we 
have but a melancholy prospect, and cannot 
help observing, that it approaches too near 

to the state of the Jewish Church before 

j 

its destruction. As they had corrupted the 



Xll 



doctrines of Moses and the prophets, and in 
consequence of it were divided into sects, (for 
as truth unites, error always disunites men) ; so 
have we corrupted the doctrines of the Gospel, 
and are miserably divided in consequence of 
it." " The venality and avarice of the Jews 
of our Saviour's time, were notorious, and 
provoked his indignation. Their temple, 
filled with buyers and sellers, was turned 
into a den of thieves : and, God knows, there 
is too much of a worldly traffick amongst us, 
which is too far gone to be reformed, and too 
bold to be censured. VENDUNTUR OMNIA." 

Neither, my Lord, imagine that the pious 
dissenters are inimical to the hierarchy. 
Amongst their various bodies, there are, as 
in all bodies, men of bad spirits and of 
ambitious principles ; but riot so the great 
mass of them ; let the Church of England 
become what Archbishop Usher, and Bishop 
Hall, would have had her, and Archbishop 
Cranmer intended her, to be ; let her become 
what she ought to be ; and all the truly pious 
arid orthodox dissenters in the kingdom will 
rejoice in her ; and acknowledge her, if not 
as their venerable parent, at least, as their 
elder sister ; and will gladly unite with and 
support her in every good word and work. 



Xlll 

But we are afraid of popery and infidelity, 
and not without reason. Shall we be best 
able to oppose them when united or when 
divided? I venture to request your Lordship 
to peruse the address to the CHRISTIAN 
INSTITUTE, appended to the following work. 
That society I sometime since attempted to 
establish, and which I still hope one day to 
accomplish ; and I verily believe, if conducted 
upon right principles, it would do more to 
stem the torrent of error, of all sorts, in this 
country, than any other measure. If in that 
respect I err, I have the satisfaction to know 
I err in the company of some of the best and 
most excellent men that have ever lived ; and 
perhaps an ample justification of every opinion, 
I have suggested, would be found by bringing 
the great majority of ecclesiastical prefer- 
ments, during the last century, to the following 
test of Bishop Ridley. For as Blackstone 
has well expressed it, " the best way to 
exhibit the irregularities of a crooked line, is 
to place a straight one close by its side." 

" Alas, Sir, this is a heavy hearing. When 
papists were taught, there was nothing too 
little* for the teachers. When the Bishop 
gave his benefices unto idiots, unlearned, 
ungodly, for kindred, for pleasure, for services, 

* That is, there was always plenty for them. 

b 



XIV 



and other worldly respects, all was then well 
allowed. Now where a poor living is to be 
given to an excellent clerk, a man known and 
tried to have both discretion and also virtue, 
and such a one, as before God, I do not know a 
man yet unplaced and unprovided for, more 
meet to set forth God's Word in all England, 
when a poor living, I say, which is founded 
for a preacher, is to be given unto such a man, 
that then an ungodly person shall procure in 
this sort letters to stop and let the same, alas, 
M. Cheke, this seemeth unto me to be a right 
heavy hearing. Is this the fruit of the Gospel ? 
Speak M. Cheke, speak for God's sake, in God's 
cause, unto whomsoever you think you may do 
any good withal. And if you will not speak, 
then I beseech you, let these my letters speak 
unto M. Gates, to M. Wroth,* to M. Cecil, 
whom I all do take for men that do fear God."f 
I have the honour to remain, 

MY LORD, 
Your Lordship's faithful Servant, 

Cfie Stfttor* 

London, 1831. 



* Most probably Lord Wriothesly, whom Bishop Burnet however, says 
was the chief support of the Popish Party. Reform, ii. 27. 

t See letter to Sir John Cheke, soliciting a prebend for Grindal, 
afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury. Cov. 684. 



PR EFACE. 



THE publication of the following pages was occasioned 
by the deep impression made upon the mind of the Editor, 
some few years since, by the perusal of Coverdale's Letters 
of the Martyrs, a book which he had till then never seen ; 
and although he was generally acquainted with Fox's Acts 
and Monuments, he had not read the letters in that work, 
or, at least, having been read in earlier life, they had not 
produced the same feelings. 

Persuaded that a more general acquaintance with these 
letters, exemplifying the doctrines and principles of the re- 
formation in England, was calculated to promote the cause 
of religious truth, he conceived the idea of republishing 
Coverdale's work ; but finding upon examination, that there 
were many letters in Fox, which were omitted by Coverdale, 
and vice- versa, it appeared the most useful plan to publish 
a new work embracing both, and to intersperse the letters 
according to their dates, with Fox's 'Narrative. 

But to pursue this plan as to the whole of the martyrs 
at once, would have been too formidable an undertaking in 



XVI 

respect of paper and printing ; and therefore the Editor was 
compelled to select the life and letters, of such one of the 
venerable martyrs, as appeared to afford the most compre- 
hensive view of the controversies of that day, and the greatest 
probability of general usefulness. 

Cranmer or Ridley would probably have been selected, 
but the life of the latter having been lately re-published by 
Dr. Wordsworth, and the whole works of Cranmer being in 
a state of preparation for publication at Oxford; the choice 
almost naturally fell upon Bradford, as best calculated to 
answer the above expressed objects of the Editor; who can 
truly say, that if the following pages shall afford to any of 
his readers, as he has no doubt they will to many, the same 
gratification, which the preparing of them for the press has 
to himself, his purpose will be fully answered, although he 
should lose by the publication. 

The Editor has long thought that a more useful service 
could not be performed to religion, than an attempt to rescue 
from oblivion some of those important and excellent works, 
which are now fast escaping from our grasp; and which, 
unless some steps are taken to preserve them, will shortly be 
altogether lost to posterity. If, therefore, the present volume 
should prove acceptable to the public, the Editor may, if 
his life be spared, follow it up with a series of lives and 
letters, as well from our English, as from foreign martyrologies. 

In the course of the researches which the Editor has made, 
he has discovered one original letter, (No. 45,) and also the 



XVli 

verses which conclude the letters. The Editor imagines there 
is another original letter in the possession of Mr. Dawson 
Turner, of Yarmouth, who has been respectfully requested, but 
in vain, to allow it to be included in the following collection. 

The Editor cannot, satisfactorily to his own mind, con- 
clude these remarks without expressing his grateful thanks 
for the civility and accommodation he has uniformly received 
from the librarians and assistants of the British Museum, who 
have upon all occasions shewn a disposition to facilitate his 
inquiries. A similar acknowledgement is due to thfc libra- 
rians of Sion College, Redcross Street Library, the London 
Institution, and Mr. Lemon, of the State Paper Office. 

It was the Editor's intention to have inserted in the 
appendix, a catalogue of the tracts upon the Popish Contro- 
versy, chiefly of the reign of James II., contained in a series 
of eighty volumes, octavo, which may be seen in the 
library of Dr. Williams, in Redcross Street; and which 
perhaps contain the most complete collection to be found 
upon the subject; but as that catalogue would add several pages 
to this volume, already extended far beyond the Editor's 
original intention, it may be considered sufficient to have 
informed the reader of the existence of such a collection. 
There are also about fifty volumes of tracts upon the same 
subject, in the library belonging to the French Protestant 
or Refugee Church, in Threadneedle Street. 

Since page Ixii of the appendix has been printed, the Editor 
has seen another edition, of Wood's Translation of the book 



XV111 

De Vera Obedientia, at Mr. Thorp's in Bedford Street, 
Covent Garden, who has obligingly permitted him to copy 
the title page. Except what follows, and in describing Bon- 
ner, as since instead of now Bishop of London, it is the 
same as that inserted in page Ixiv. of the appendix.. 

" And now translated into English, and printed bi Michael 
Wood : with the Preface and Conclusion of the Translator. 
" From Roane, xxvi of Octobre, MDLIII. " 
This edition is in rude types of the Roman letter, 
whereas the edition in the Royal Library is in old English 
text, very well cut, and the punctuation marked by short 
oblique lines. From the insertion of the word since, we 
apprehend that the copy in the Royal Library is the 
original edition; and Roane is probably a town in the 
Isle of Rhe, and not Rouen, in Normandy ; or it may be Roann 
on the Loire. 

The following is the most correct list of Bradford's works, 
which the Editor has been able to collect, but he is by no 
means satisfied that it is perfectly accurate. 

1. A Meditation upon God's Providence and his Presence. 

2. A Prayer that God would shorten the Persecution and 
restore the Gospel. 

3. Institutio Divina et Vere Consolatoria certa Viri 
Mortis, Johanne Bradfordo, Anglo, Authore, ex vernacula 
Lingua in totium Sermonem con versa. 

4. The Hurt of the Mass. 



XIX 

5. Sermons on Repentance and the Lord's Supper. -Sion 
Coll. Lib. 0. 13. 6. 

6. Prioritise, or First Fruits. 1548. 

7. A Godly Treatise on Prayer, translated from Me- 
lancthon. 

8. Complaint of Verity. 1559. 

9. Meditation on the Lord's Prayer, Creed, and Ten 
Commandments. 

10. The Good Old Way, or a Treatise of Repentance. 

11. Baptism of Children. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



No. Page. 

1. Letter to Father Traves 3 

2. to Sir Thomas Hall, and Father Traves .... 6 

3 to Father Traves 9 

4. to the same 14* 

5. to the same 17 

6. >to the same 18 

7. to the same 21 

8. to the same 22 

9. to the same 24 

10. to the same 30 

11. to Lord Russel 31 

12 to his Mother 34 

13. to M.Warcup,Wife, Mrs.Wilkinson, & others 39 

14,. to W. P 45 

15. to Father Traves ib. 

16. to G. and N 47 

17. to Godly Persons 50 

18. to the same 54 

19. to Lord Russel 59 

20. to the same 63 

21. to the Pelagians 65 

22. to certain Men, &c 68 

23. to Trew and Abingdon 72 

24. to the same 73 

25. Old and New Man 74 

26. to Cole and Sheterden* 78 

27. to a Dear Friend 80 

28. to Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer 89 

29. Declaration as to Doctrine 93 

30. - to Sir James Hales 100 

31. to M. Humphrey Hales 104 

32. to M. Humphrey Hales and Wife 107 

33. to Lady Vane 109 

34. - to the same 114 

* This Letter is also in Cpv. 409. 



No. Page. 

35. Letter to Lady Vane 1 15 

36. to the same 116 

37. to M. Lawrence Saunders 118 

38. to the same 120 

39. to Sir William Fitz Williams 121 

40. toMrs.M.H , 123 

41. to the same 128 

42. to the same 130 

43. to a Faithful Woman 132 

44. to Mrs. J. H 139 

45. to a Pious Lady 143 

46. Meditation on God's Providence and Presence .... 148 

47. Letter to Queen Mary with Supplication 151 

48. The Supplication 153 

49. Declaration as to King Edward's Reformation 155 

60. First Examination of Bradford 158 

51. Second Examination 166 

52. Third Examination 174 

53. Letter to Mrs. Ann Warcup 186 

54. to his Mother 188 

65. Conference with Bonner 192 

66. Letter to Lady Vane ib. 

57. Conference with M. Willerton 195 

58. Letter to Mrs. Ann Warcup 196 

59. to Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer 198 

60. to M. Geo. Eaton 199 

61. to the same 203 

62. to the Professors in London 204 

63. to the Professors in Cambridge 210 

64. to the Professors in Lancashire and Cheshire 216 

65. to the Professors in Walden 223 

66. to M. Shallcross and Wife 228 

67. Conference with the Earl of Derby's Servant 233 

68. with Percival Cresswell ib. 

69. with Dr. Harding 234 

70. with Archdeacon Harpsfield 235 

71. Second Conference with ditto 241 

72. Conference with Archbishop Heath and Bishop Day 246 

73. with the Spanish Friars 254 

74. Letter to a Woman as to going to Mattins 261 



XX111 

No. Pa S e - 

75. First Conference \vith Dr. Weston 264 

76. Reasons against Transubstantiation 266 

77. Conference with Dr. Pendleton 268 

78. Second Conference with Dr. Weston 271 

79. Admonition to Professors 275 

80. Letter to R. Cole 279 

81. to Nathaniel 280 

82. to Nathaniel and his Wife 28-1 

83. to M. John Hall and Wife 288 

84. toMrs.-Hall 291 

85. Third Conference with Dr. Weston 293 

86. Conference with a Gentlewoman's Servant 296 

87. Letter to that Gentlewoman 299 

88. to his Mother 303 

89. Prayer 307 

90. Letter to B. and C 315 

91. to Erkenwalde Rawlins and Wife 318 

92. to the same 323 

93. . to Dr. Albert Hill 326 

94. to R. and E. with their Wives and Families . . 331 

95. to Mrs. Wilkinson 334 

96. to the same 336 

97. to Mrs. W. and Mrs. W ' 337 

98. to John Careless 340 

99. to the same 342 

100. - to Richard Hopkins and Wife 343 

101. to the same 853 

102. to Mrs. Brown 357 

103. to the same .358 

104. to a Friend 359 

105. to certain Godly Men 362 

106. to Augustine Bernher 366 

107. to the same .' 867 

108. to M. Coker 868 

109. to M. John Philpot 370 

1 10. to certain Godly Men 371 

111. to one who had administered comfort & relief 376 

1 12. to a Friend on Rom. viii. 19 378 

113. An Exhortation to Patience, in the Time of Persecution 389 



CONTENTS OF THE APPENDIX. 



Note. Page. 

A. Restitution i. 

B. Disparaging Expressions xii. 

C. Ordination xiii. 

D. The Habits xiv. 

E. Ridley's Opinion of Bradford xv. 

F. Tutor to Archbishop Whitgift xvi. 

G. Error in Fox's Chronology xvii. 

H. Bishop Farrar xviii. 

I. Francis Spira xix. 

K. Lord Russel xx. 

L. Fox's Notes on Election, &c xxxiii. 

M. Remarks on DrWordsworth, Bishop Ridley, &c xliv. 

N. Martyrs decline Disputation Ivii 

O. Further Remarks on Bishop Ridley Iviii. 

P. Sir James Hales , . lix. 

Q. Lady Vane Ix. 

R. Bishop Gardiner's Vera Obedientia Ixi. 

S. Heroic Conduct of early Martyrs cxxxviii. 

T., Quotation from St , Bernard verified cxxxix. 

U. Process against Bradford cxli. 

V. Final Process against Bradford cxlii. 

W. Bishop Ridley's Approbation of Bradford's 

Examinations cxlv. 

X. Remarks on Bishop Gardiner's Death cxlvii. 

Y. Another Letter of Bishop Ridley to Bradford cli. 

Z. Remarks on Bradford's Fortitude cliii. 

AA. Remarks on the University of Cambridge . . ib. 

BB. See W. and Y. 

CC. Idolatry of Papists established cliv. 

DD. Character of Dean Weston clvi. 

EE. Edward VI. 's Remarks on Popery clvii. 

FF. Note as to Mrs. M. Honeywood clviii. 

GG. Testimony of Persons and others to Bradford's 

Worth clviii. 

HH. Extracts from Sampson's Preface clix. 



XXV 

Note. Page. 
1 1. Letter from the Martyr Careless to Bradford clx. 
KK. Inherent Blasphemy of the Doctrine of theMass clxiii. 
LL. The Danger and Sin of Protestants, attending 
the Celebration of the Mass, Mattins, Ves- 
pers, &c clxvi. 

MM. Note as to Sheriff Hopkins clxix. 

NN. as to Augustine Bernher ib. 

Index of Tracts in the Fasciculus Rerum . . . clxxi. 



THE materials of the early life of Holy 
John Bradford, as he was usually designated,* 
which have come down to us are exceedingly 
scanty, and there is scarcely any thing to be 
gleaned respecting him beyond what is related 
by Fox, the venerable martyrologist ; with the 
exception of those additional letters, which 
are included in the Compilation of the Let- 
ters of the Martyrs, collected and published 
by Miles Coverdale, in the year 1564. 

Bradford was born at Manchester, but in //,//;<. <-< 
what year we are uninformed ; and we hear f /' Ac ' J 



* Not only Fox so stiles him, but Dr. Francis Godwin, successively 
Bishop of Llandaff and Hereford, the author of the Commentarius de 
Prsesulibus, calls him "that godly.and learned man, John Bradford." 
Annals of Queen Mary, p. 186. So also Strype, " from him, (Abp. 
Grindal,) Fox had the history of the Holy John Bradford, and the let- 
ters written by him in prison." Annals, vol. i. p. i. 375. 

B 



no more of his parents, than that they brought 
him up in learning from his infancy, of 
which he made so good a use that he attained 
sufficient skill in writing and in the Latin 
language to become a servant, or probably a 
secretary, to Sir John Harrington, who was 
treasurer of the royal camps and buildings at 
Calais, and in the Bullonois, during the 
reign of Henry VIII, and part of the reign of 
Edward VI. 

Fox alleges that Sir John found our mar- 
tyr so expert and faithful, that he not only 
employed him in public affairs, but entrusted 
his private concerns to his management in 
preference to his other dependants. 

How long he remained in this employ we 
do not exactly know; but the same author 
informs us that Bradford quitted his patron, 
after a "just account given to him of all his 
doings.*" 

It appears at one time to have been his 
intention to follow the profession of the law, 
for we find that he was entered a student 
of the Inner Temple, on the 8th of April, 
1547 ,f where he is described as of Exton, in 
the County of Rutland. 



* See Note (A.) t 1 Edward VI. 



J$tea<' 



t**jQ 



3 

It is from the Temple that the earliest of 
Bradford's Letters which have been preserved, 
are dated : and we propose to introduce them 
into the narrative in the order in which they 
were written. They will thus afford the best 
evidence of the progressive state of the au- 
thor's mind; and how it became gradually 
matured, as by the Spirit of the Lord, to pre- 
pare him for that noble and conspicuous 
testimony which God, in the mysterious dis- 
pensations of his providence, had appointed 
our illustrious martyr to bear to the truth of 
the Gospel of our Lord JESUS CHRIST. 

There are only six letters which we can 
positively ascribe to this period, and which 
are the following : 



No. 1. 



TO FATHER TRAVES.* 



GRATIA, misericordia, et pax, a Deo Patre nostro, et Domino Jesu 
Christo, Domino nostro. 



* Fox iii. 357. This name is spelt by Fox sometimes Traves and sometimes Travers, but 
who he was there is no particular mention ; except that it appears from the letters them- 
selves, that he was some friend of the family, and from the superscription to one of them, 
that he was the minister of Blackly, near Manchester, in which place, or near to which, 
Biadford's mother must then have resided. Strype says he was a learned and pious Gentle- 
man, his patron, and counsellor. Mem. Eccl. vol. iii. p. i. 364. 



If mine heart were n^t altogether adamantine, your kind letters 
to me unkind miser, would cause me, from the hottom of the same, 
to confess my ingratitude towards you upon your behalf, concerning* 
me so much deserved : but as I am to do, so shew I myself to write, 
and as I am unable in the one, so am I foolish in the other; in 
all those unkindnesses, rudeness, &c. whereof you accuse yourself. 

I am enforced to acknowledge myself most justly condemned, not 
so feignedly by me confessed, as most truly by you experienced. In 
your letters, as in a glass I may learn by you, in detecting yourself, 
to espy my nakedness, which heretofore I thought clothed duplici 
vestitu, now only but with fig leaves hypocritically gilded, of which 
detection, wrought in you by the Holy Ghost, be not proud ; for what 
have you that you have not received ? But be thankful to the Lord, 
not only therefore, but also for those surges which you feel, now 
through the cares accompanying marriage, now through education and 
bringing up of your children and family, now through that cross of 
the common accustomed trade of living; for through many tribulations 
ice must enter into the kingdom of Heaven : yea, they be the cog- 
nizances of God's election, the letter THAU, the instruments which 
work suspitia aeternae vitae, and therefore to be embraced. 

Believe me it is the most excellent gift of God, a man to detect and 
humble himself, and to feel the crosses of Christ as crosses. But I, 
a most hypocritical wretch, not worthy that this earth should bear 
me, am ever going to bed with Jezebel, and such as commit fornica- 
tion with her, which is afflictio maxima. O Lord help me and 
deliver me for Jesu's sake, anoint mine eyes with ointment that I 
may see. Oh give me not over unto a lewd mind and reprobate 
sense, but awake my sleeping soul that Christ may shine in me. 

You know the cross, the fatherly cross, the loving Lord hath laid 
upon me; but 1 am little or nothing moved therewith ; I work therein, 
yet not I, but God's spirit; not of a repentant faithful mind, but, I 
cannot tell how, of a slothful, blind, wretchless intent. O Lord for- 
give me for saying so, it is thy gift; forgive me my unthankfulness 
for Jesu's sake, and as herein I blasphemed and dishonouredf thy 



'Anempst. + Dishoncsted. 



holy name, so do thou by thy Holy Spirit glorify by me* the same. 
So be it, so be it. 

Sincef my coming- to London I was with Mr. Latimer, whose 
counsel is as you shall hear, which I purpose by God's grace to obey, 
(if it be thy will, O Lord fiat) ; he willed me, as I have done, to write to 
my master, who is in the country, and to shew him that if within a cer- 
tain time, which I appointed, fourteen days, he do not go about to make 
restitution, that I will submit myself to my Lord Protector, and the 
King's Majesty's Council, to confess the fraud and ask pardon. Thislite 
is uncertain and frail, and when time is, it must not be deferred. And 
what should it profit me to win the whole world, and to lose my own 
soul? If, as I justly have deserved, I be put to death for it, God's 
will be done ; at the least, slander, reproach, rebuke, loss of worldly 
friends, loss of living, &c. shall ensue. What then? Lord thy will 
be done, thine I am; if death come, welcome be it; if slander, &c. 
even as thou wilt Lord, so be it. Only grant me a penitent, loving, 
obedient heart, and of mere love to go forwards herein and not to 
shrink, to stand and not to fall, that thy name only be praised herein. 
Amen. Pray, pray for me, cry for me, and when you shall hear 
any thing, comfort my mother, to whom, for that the bearer of this* 
hath not given me an hour's warning of his departure, I have not 
only written nothing, but also have thus prattled to you, who, as 
no man else would, I think will bear with me. For as God knoweth, 
to whose grace I commit you and your bed-fellow, with all your chil- 
dren and family, the shortness of time, and the bearer's importu- 
nity,! i s tne on ty l et - I neither send your spectacles, the price of the 
Paraphrases, nor thanks for your cheese ; as by the next, that cometh 
I will, God willing, send the premises to you, and a godly Tes- 
tament for Sir Thomas Hall, which is at the binding: but be not 
acknown that I have now written to you, for so I have prayed this 
bringer. God be with us, pray for me, and abhor not my rude scrib- 
bling, which if it were as well written as it is meant, would deserve 



* Perhaps when Bradford wrote this he little anticipated how literally his pr.iyer would 

be answered. 

t Sithence. { This brin-er. 

This said hringer's importance. 



6 

pardon. Thus make I an end, imputing to the hastiness of this 
bringer all blame which you may l;y unto me. 

From the temple, this Sunday, immediately after Mr. Lalimer's 
famous sermon, which this bringer, as he saith did hear. 

By your poorest friend, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 

It shall not be long, God willing, but you shall both have and 
hear from me. Keep with you Melancthon's Common Places, for I 
have another. 



No. 2.* 



To SIR THOMAS HALL and FATHER TRAVERS 
OF BLACKLY. 



The grace of God, our most merciful Father, keep your mind 
and soul in Christ Jesus, who alone is our full sufficient Saviour, for 
in him we be complete; being made, through his death, and one only 
oblation made and offered by himself upon the cross, the children 
of God, and fellow heirs with him of the celestial kingdom which is 
the free gift of God ; and cometh not of merits, but of the mere grace 
of God, given to none that putteth any manner of hope or trust in any 
other thing visible or invisible, than in that oblation of sweet savour 
which Christ himself did offer upon Good Friday, (as we call it); which 
oblation is always recent and new in the sight of God the Father, and 
maketh intercession for us ; us I mean, who think the loving sacrifice 
then offered to he sufficient, as it is, hath been, and ever shall be, for 
all the faithful ; by the which sacrifice, if we believe, we have free 
pardon of all our sins. To him, therefore, who was both the offerer 
and offering, be all honour and praise, with the Father and the Holy 
Ghost, blessed for ever. Amt-n. 



* Fox, iii. 3.56. 



Sir Thomas, the occasion of this my long silence, my old friend 
John Travers shall declare unto you, upon the knowledge whereof [ 
doubt not of your pardon. I have sent unto you an English and Latin 
Testament, both in one print and volume, the which though it be not 
so beautiful without as I could have sent you, yet no less beautiful 
within, and more I think for your profit and better for your eyes, your 
eyes I mean of the body; for undoubtedly it giveth light unto the 
soul if she be not dead; whereof take this for an argument and a true 
proof. If your soul be not delighted in it, if your soul do not hunger 
for it, I mean not the book, but the doctrine in the book, surely your 
jsoul is sore sick, for as the body abhorring meat is not well, even so 
must the soul be, for other meat hath she none; Christ, whom you 
must believe before all men, affirms this to be true ; not only in bread, 
but in every word of God the soul doth live. 

Mark well, he saith not one or two words, or an epistle, or a gospel, 
but he saith, every word. Take heed, believe Christ better than any 
man, be he ever so holy; for he that is of God, knoweth the Word of 
God. Will you have a more plain badge whether you are the elect 
child of God or no, than this text; Christ saith, he that is of God, 
heareth the Word of God; but other Word of God have we none, 
than in the Canon of the Bible; and all things written therein, are 
written for our learning, saith St. Paul, whereof he proves, seeing 
that it is a learning, yea our learning, that we must learn it. 

Therefore, woe be to all them who either persuade men that either 
there is other doctrine of like authority, or that dissuade them from 
embracing this Word, this Word of God; or that think this Word, es- 
pecially the New Testament, is not above all other to be loved, to be 
read, to be chewed. This is the precious stone which, in the Gos- 
pel, Christ says, when a man has found, he selieth all that ever he 
hath, and buyeth it. 

Mark now, how necessary and precious Christ makes that which 
great learned men, nay the devils, but no men, think not necessary; 
God help them. Christ bad his disciples sell their coats, and buy a 
sword; which is no other thing than the Word of God ; for so St. 
Paul calls it, the sword of the Spirit. 

This I say, Sir Thomas, to the intent that no ungodly hypocrite 
should persuade or dissuade you from reading the Holy Word of God, 



8 

the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Follow you St. Paul's lesson, attend 
reading 1 , and let the Word of God dwell in you, how much ? Plentifully, 
saith he; and to what end? To feed the flock of Christ ; even as 
much as in you is, saith Peter, not once a year, nor once a quarter, 
as a strawberry, but so much as in you is. 

This Word of God tries all doctrine ; for we ought to have our 
consciences charged with nothing as touching religion, except the 
Word of God, in the Canon of the Bible, set it out; I mean not only in 
allegories, but even in plain words ; for no other foundation can any 
man lay, besides that which is laid. St. Paul says, the groundwork 
is laid already; even so saith he to the Ephesians, we be his work- 
manship to do good works, which God hath created that we should 
walk in them; he saith they were not to be made, but they are made 
already. What shall we think then of such works as man's wit hath 
formed, which yet seem most holy? Let God's word be judge. Read 
the same diligently and reverently with prayer, I mean not Latin 
service, not understood, but with true hearty prayer, and mark what 
the law requires, even that which we cannot give, the whole heart, and 
more if it were possible. But to this end, that we seeing our abomi- 
nable uncleanness and inability, might despair in ourselves, trembling 
at the justice of God, and his anger which we continually procure, 
and so embrace* Christ, in whom God the Father is well pleased ; 
which Christ, is the end of the law to justify all that believe, and 
continue not in their popish ignorance, justifying themselves, and 
treading Christ's blood under their feet, denying the Lord that 
bought them. 

All such, he they never so well learned, never so holy, are nothing 
but hypocrites, and plain antichrists, which may not abide the sword 
of God's mouth, for the trumpets of the army, I mean still God'sWord, 
when they blow, the high walls of Jericho, the figure of hypocrisy, 
fall down. Embrace, therefore, God's Holy Word, and be not only a 
hearer but a doer; for your calling requires you to be apt to teach such 
proud , hypocritical, arrogant babblers as I am now, which, if I may use 
this term, defile God's Word, God forgive me, and pray you for me, 
and give God thanks for me, that spares me thus, Lucifer like, not of 

* Amplect. 



a true zeal, but of a foolish bragging, which prate of God's Holy 
Word, I wot not what I do to confess it, so it is. I have sent you other 
books which I pray you read, I have written your name in them. 
The Holy Ghost keep you, with your brother George, his wife, and 
children, and with your brother James, &c., Sir Lawrance, &c., 

this 20th of March, . 

A very painted Hypocrite,* 

JOHN BRADFORD, 
Your's in Christ for ever. 

Pray for me, pray for me, give God thanks for me, and take 
John Traves's help to read this letter written in haste. If any thing 
but good be chanced to John Traves, which God forbid, I pray you 
burn my letters out of hand. 



No. 3.t 



TO FATHER TRAVES. 



Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father, through our Lord 
Jesus Christ, with increase of all manner of godly knowledge and 
living, be with you and all your household, now and ever. Amen. 

To excuse this, my long silence, within five or six days after my 
like foolish letters written to you by John Mosse, it pleased God to 
send my master hither to London; whom as 1 lately toforehad adver- 
tised by letters, I moved, you know wherein, and prayed him to 
discharge the same, or else I would submit myself, &c. Whereunto 
he answered, that if the books should declare it, he would satisfy, &c. 
The books I shewed, whereupon he promised as much as I could ask. 

But being herein something more moved than he had cause, God 
be praised therefore, which of his mere good pleasure wrought it; at 



* See Note(B). f Fox iii. 358. 

C 



10 

times, as I could, I desired to know ho\v, and in what time, he would 
discharge us both. He thinking me to be over curious herein, was 
not therewith contented; and hearing me to allege the uncertainty 
of time and the fear of God's justice, which, O gracious Lord, grant 
me to feel indeed as much as thou knowest good for me, he answered 
me to be scrupulous and of a superstitious conscience, for anhnalis 
homo non percipit ea quse sunt Dei; and plainly said further, that 
I should not know, nor by these words have his head so under 
my girdle. And when I shewed him that God witnessed with me I 
went about no such thing, he said that there was no godly conscience, 
seeing he promised afore the face of God to discharge me and to pay 
the thing, but it ought so to be quieted. And thus at divers and sun- 
dry times, moving eftsoons* to know of him the way and time of dis- 
charging the debt, and having none other answers than tofore, I 
doubting wordly wisdom, which useth delays, to reign in him with 
this mammon, the which, O merciful God, eradicate out of his heart, 
mind, and all others, I was sometime more sharp and told him, non 
ego tamen, sed gratia tua Domine, I would obey God more than man; 
the which he lightly regarding as seemed, I departed and went to M. 
Latimer, to have had him to have brought me to my Lord Protector, 
whose Grace then was purposed shortly to take his journey to visit the 
Ports; M. Latimer, I say, willed me to stay until his return, which will 
not be long before Easter. 

In this mean time I had my bedfellow, my master's son, whom 
my master had used as his instrument to move me carnally ; for my 
master had discharged him of his exhibition, telling him that he 
could not be able to keep either home or child, for I purposed to undo 
both him and all his, untruly thou knowest, good Lord ; and bade 
him to take that as a warning, that both he and his brethren should 
provide for themselves as they could. I bade, I say, my said bed- 
fellow to shew my master, as of himself, my further purpose, which 
thing when he knew, so moved and feared him, that he began 
something to relent, and then made fair promises; that look what I 
should devise, that would he do. 1 devised, but my devices pleased him 
not. 



* Often. 



11 

And thus, but not vainly 1 trust, as I now do with you, but I 
know your gentleness, which ever hath borne with me, I spent the 
time in which 1 have been silent to write, nay babble to you, and he 
departing 1 out of London before I knew, did send me word by another 
of his said sons, not so given to the gospel and a good life as my bed- 
fellow, and therefore more to be suspected, for though pietas non est 
suspidosa, as I should think myself rather impius, yet Christ bade us 
to be prudentes sicut serpentes, this other brother, I say, told me that 
my master would do all things, only his fame and ability preserved, 
et quid prodest totum munduin lucrari, animee vero jacturam facere? 

And with the said brother my master sent me a little billet also, 
wherein he confessed that he was contented within twelve months to 
deliver to my hands the whole money, which bill I thinking not so good 
as it might have been, have devised another, and have sent it down to 
him in the country, with request that he will seal and sign it, for thus 
Mr. Latimer thinketh sufficient, but as yet I hear not of it; doubting 
worldly wisdom, which was the whore that overcame Sampson, that 
moved David to slay Urias, that brought wise Solomon to idolatry, 
that crucified Christ, the which moved me to perpertate hoc facinus, 
the which worketh in my master's heart, having higher place there 
than timor Domini. 

What say I, there, yea, yea, with me it sitteth in the holy place, 
the Lord deliver us, doubting, I say, worldly wisdom, I remain in that 
same state now for this matter, though in worse for my soul, which is 
more to be lamented ; pray therefore, I beseech you, pray with me and 
for me, that I may do so earnestly, than I was in at my last writing 
unto you. And as I then was purposed, so I doubt not, grant it Lord, 
but that I shall persevere, if in the mean season I shall not hear from 
my master accordingly. 

Thus 1 have, like myself, foolishly but truly, declared unto you 
in many babbling words, which wit, if I had it, would have shortly 
and briefly comprehended; arrogant, nay God's working unthankful 
wretch, my working in this matter, which is and was the only cause, 
as I now do, I troubled you not afore, to the intent I might advertise 
you some certainty in this thing. And though silence had been much 
better than this foolish prating, yet your fatherly kindness ever towards 
me, in expecting from you a correction, as I have herein given cause, 



may, though not to yon, yet to me be profitable. In hope whereof I 
proceed in requiring you to continue your remembrance of me, a most 
unkind wretch to God and you, in your prayers with the Almighty 
Merciful Lord, that I may more regard his will and pleasure herein, 
than all honour or shame in this life. 

But I must confess unto you that my \vorkingin this matter is not 
of love, as I should do, nor of fear of God's justice; mine unthank- 
fulness, mine unthankfulness, if nothing else were, hath not only 
deserved it, but doth deserve more than everlasting damnation ; O Lord 
be merciful to me, I do not so repent it as I should do. Why say I 
so? as though this so were any thing? Oh hypocritical wretch that 
I am. Alas, Father Traves, let me so call upon you, I am hardhearted, 
there was never any so obstinate, so unkind, against so loving, so 
merciful, so gracious, so good, so bountiful a Lord, yea a Father, as 
I wretch and most miserable sinner am. This I speak; but not of 
humility, but of hypocrisy, yet I speak truly. I pray thee, good father, 
for Christ's sake, 1 may think it truly, as 1 write it even of arrogaucy, 
so it is. Therefore pray and cry for me. 

Here be such goodly, godly, and learned sermons, which these 
uncircumcised ears of mine hear at the least three a week, which were 
able, the great loving mercy of God offered to me in them, I mean, to 
burst any man's heart, to relent, to repent, to believe, to love, and to 
fear that omnipotent gracious Lord. But my adamantine, obstinate, 
most unkind, ingrate, unthankful heart, hearing my Lord, which is 
the Lord over all Lords, so graciously, so lovingly, vouchsafe by so 
many of his instruments to speak, to call, to cry unto me, now by his 
law, now by his threats, now by his Gospel, now by his promises, now 
by all his creatures, to come, to come even to himself. 

I hide me with Adam in the garden, I play not only Samuel 
running to Eli, but I play Jonas running to the sea, and there I sleep 
upon the hatches, tumbling in Jezebel's bed, quod est afm'ctio max- 
ima, until it please God to anoint mine eyes collyrio, until it please 
him to raise up a tempest, to turn and look upon me as Luke saith 
he did on Peter. For,O Lord, it is thy gift, and cometh of thee and 
of thy mere grace, it cometh not of man, it cometh not of works, 
to repent, to believe, to fear, and to love. Work thou therefore in me, 
for Jesus Christ's sake, which am thy creature and most unthankful 



13 

hypocritical servant, not when I will, nor as I will, but when thou wilt, 
even that which may be most to the glory of thy name. Amen. 

What should I write ? Nay, why do 1 not pluck these same words 
and paper in pieces, for I write altogether of hypocrisy and arrogant pre- 
sumption, I will confess it, thou wicked spirit, the Lord judge thee, I 
will confess it, it is most true, John Traves, I but only write it, for it is 
not 1, it is hypocrisy. Scientia, if 1 had it, inflaret. Oh Lord grant 
me thy grace, and leave me not to my own judgment and reason. Hy- 
pocrisy, arrogancy, and obstinate security environ me, yet I feel them 
not, the Lord deliver me Pray for me, give God thanks for me. 
O Lord, even tua fiat voluntas : unlock this mine heart, thou which 
hast the key of David, which openest only, that 1 may desire to have 
the desire of the glory of thy name, of repentance, faith, &c. 
Pray for me, and be thankful for me, O Father Traves, and write to 
me. Your letters I desire more to see, than any man's living. 
Let me have them, therefore, as you may, but your prayer at all times, 
that God would open my heart to feed and taste of these comfortable 
places of scripture, which to me are locked, memento Jesum Christum 
resurrexisse ex mortuis. This text as a text of most comfort, as it is 
indeed, and when God will, I shall feed on it, did Paul send to 
Timothy to be his comfort in all places. For our salvation, this day 
of resurrection, is nearer now than when we believed. Wherefore, qui 
perseveraverit salvus erit. For consummabitur preevaricatior, saith 
Daniel ; finem accipiet peccatum, delebitur iniquitas, et adducetur 
justitia sempiterna. Deus ipse veniet et salvabit nos. Veniens, 
veniet, et non tardabit, et quandocumque manifestatus fuerit vita 
nostra Christus, tune et nos manifestabimur cum illo in gloria. Semel 
enim oblatus est utmultorum peccatatolleret,rursus absque peccato con- 
spicietur iis qui ilium expectant in salutem. Sic semper cum Domino 
erimus ; proinde consolemini vos invicem mutuo sermonibus hiis. 

O Lord open mine eyes which see nothing of the great comforts in 
these thy most rich words ; open mine eyes, good Lord, ne nunquam 
obdormiam in morte. Pray for me, and commend me to your good 
bedfellow, et omnibus in Christo fratribus osculo sancto. 

Thus I make an end, for it is time you may say, and I pray you 
still water Sir Thomas Hall, unto whom I have sent a fair Testament, 
both in English and Latin, if thisbringer shall carry it. And I have 



herewith sent you a letter, which first peruse and read, and when you 
have so done, abhor not me, but nay wickedness, and pray for me. 
And, as you can see a meet time, seal it and deliver it to Sir Nicholas 
Wolstoncros, by such policy asyou can think, by God's grace, through 
prayer. 

I confess unto you, God is my witness, to my knowledge, I never 
in my being in the country this winter at any time called it 
to remembrance, the Lord forgive me. I would by some occasion, 
if any could be had afore the delivery* of the Letter, by some story or 
communication, that he did know that abomination to be sin, for I tear 
he thinketh it to be no sin. The Lord open our eyes, and forgive 
us. Amen. The peace of God be with you. Amen. From the 
Temple, this 22d of March, 1547. 

Yours in Christ most bounden, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 

I have sent you three pair of good spectacles 1 trow, and other such 
books as have your name written in them, which take in good worth, 
and pray for me, and give thanks for me. 



No. 4.t 



TO FATHER TRAVES. 



Gratia, Misericordia, et Pax, &c. 

My chance is not by this bringer to have any warning in manner of 
his farewell, so that I am constrained, timecoarcting me, to write not 
so much of things which I will ornit, as my desire was. Concerning the 
great matter you know of, it hath pleased God to bring it to this end, 
that I have a bill of my master's hand, wherein he is bound to pay 
the sum afore Candlemas next coming. This thinks Master Latimer 



* Delivcris. j Fox iii. 359. 



15 

to be sufficient; therefore 1 pray you to give that gracious Lord thanks, 
and thanks, and thanks upon it, for me a most wretched ingrate sinner, 
which have also in other things no less cause to praise God's name. 
As for that I have, and sustain my master's sore displeasure, the 
which hath brought me, God I should say, through it, unto a more 
contempt of worldly things, through the sequestration of such his 
business, as tofore I had ado withal, I call it a contempt, well, take 
the word even as it is hypocritically and vaingloriously spoken ; for 
the which fault, amongst many others innumerable, I trust you re- 
member in your prayers, whereof 1 have made, I would 1 knew how 
much, need, 

There is yet another thing whereof I will advertise you, even to 
this end, that you might pray, if it be God's will, that as I trust shortly 
to begin, so he may vouchsafe shortly to confirm that he hath begun; 
as, if I be not deceived, I believe it is his working. If the thing seem 
by God's spirit in you that I presume, then for the Lord's sake adver- 
tise me; for I am much given to that disease, the Lord deliver me. I 
have moved my master therein already by letters, to see if I shall have 
any living of him as hitherto I have had; but 1 have thereof no 
answer, nor, as our natural speech is, any likelihood of any grant. 
Yet that I have already, I trust will suffice me for three years; you 
look what my purpose meaneth, I am so long afore I come to it. 
Therefore I do it, because my long babbling should be less tedious. 
Now shall you have it. If God's will be, whereunto pray I may be 
obedient, I am minded afore Midsummer to leave London and go to 
my books at Cambridge, and, if God shall give me grace, to be a 
minister of his Word. Thus you have of a fly an elephant. Well, 
take it in good part, though you see my etiam non, and not etiam, 
etiam. 

A tumbling block gathereth no moss; so therefore pray for me. 
Perchance I do foolishly to forsake so good a living as I have. I will 
say no more hereof, but pray for me. I trust, as I said, for three years' 
study I have sufficient, if my master take all from me ; and when this 
is spent God will send more. I do not write this that you should think 
me to be in need of worldly help, and therefore, as friars were wont, 
secretly to beg. No, in the Lord's name I require you not to take it 
so; for I had rather never send a letter, afore I should be herein a 



16 



cross to you, for sufF.cit siur diei afflictio, we are more set by than 
many sparrows. 

But if my mother or Sir Thomas Hall murmur at it, or be offended 
with me, as you can, remedy it with your counsel. Howbeit, as yet I 
will not write to them of it, until such time as I be going. I am 
something fickle-minded and inconstant, therefore pray for me, that 
my hand being put to the plough, presumptuously spoken, I look not 
back. You may gather by my words in this letter the heroical heart 
which lieth in me. 

ITiave sent you a book of Bucer against Winchester,* in English, 
lately translated, which 1 never read, therefore I cannot praise it. 
And, as I call to remembrance, I did send you with the other books 
moref than you received, at the least one of them I remember which 
is called, " The Common Places, or the Declaration of the Faith, by 
Urbanus Rhegius," ask for it, or send me word in whom the default 
is, you have it not. Hereafter, and that shortly, by God's grace, 1 
will send you "Primitiae Laborum meorum," a work or two which I 
have translated into English, so soon as they be printed, which will 
be afore Whitsuntide. 

Pray for me good Father Traves, and God send you health of soul 
and body, as I would mine own or any man's living. But yet to warn 
you of that you know not, in writing your letters to me, you hit me 
home, and give me that I look for. You are deceived, and so is all 
that know me; I never came to any point of mortification, therefore a 
little tickling sets me afloat, God help me, and give God thanks for 
me, as all men be most bounden. Thus when I once begin to write 
to you, I run as the priest saith mattins, for I think I may be bold on 
you. The Holy Ghost preserve you, your wife, and family, and per- 
severe his grace in you unto the end. I pray you pray for me, a most, 
what should I call me, miserable and blasphemous sinner. The Peace 
of God be with us. From the Temple, this 12th of May, 1548. 

Sir Thomas Hall hath deceived me, but himself most. I. desire to 
speak with him, as this winter it may chance, if I discharge not my- 
self of mine office, to see him. Pray .for him and for me. 

A very hypocrite, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 

* Dr. Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of thit See. t Moe. 



17 

No. 5.* 

TO FATHER TRAVES. 

The perseverance of God's grace, with the knowledge of his good- 
will, increase with you unto the end. To declare myself, as I am a 
carnal man, which understandeth not the things that be of the spirit. 
These my letters, though I counterfeit and meddle amongst them 
the spiritual words, as the devil did in his temptations to Christ, will 
declare no less. For I begin with carnal things in effect, and no 
marvel if I so end ; for how can a man gather figs of briers ? These 
words as they seem, so they are spoken for a cloak to make you think 
otherwise; but Father Traves you cannot think so evil of me as 
I am ; but to the matter. 

This present day by God's grace I take my journey towards 
Cambridge, where I pray God, and so earnestly I pray you to pray 
for me, that I may circumspectly redeem this time which God hath 
appointed to me unknown, to lend me; for alas, I have spent most 
wickedly the time past, for the which I must account even for every 
hair breadth as they say; for God hath not given here time to sin. 

But if I considered this, as I do nothing less, custom of sin and 
pleasing myself hath so hardened my heart, I should then come to 
the feeling of myself, then should I hate sin which I now love, then 
should I fear God's wrath, which I now contemn, then should I cry 
out and weep, and continually pray, whereas now I am dry as a 
stone, as dumb as a nail, as far from praying, as he that never knew 
any taste of it. Which thing once I felt, thanks to the Lord, 
but now for mine unthankfulness I am almost, but most worthily, 
despised. 

I fear me God will take his grace from me, I am so unthankful. 
Alas, why do I lie in saying I fear me? Nay, God grant I may do 
so, for then should 1 pray and pray ; but seeing I cannot, speak yon 
for me, pray you for me, that the Lord would remember his old 
compassions towards me, for his mercies' sake draw me, yea compel 
me to serve, to fear, and to love him. Thus may you see how I 

* Fox, iii. 360. 



18 

presume ; for my intent was to have been a minister of God's word, 
to have been his instrument to have called from as I have called to 
sin, but you see how that God punisheth my arrogancy. 

Alas, what shall I do? I am an unprofitable and an idle member, 
1 thought I should have been therein profitable, but Medice cura 
teipsum. How should I, or what should I do? I cannot labour 
with my hands. Well, I trust God will give me grace and know- 
ledge to translate ; nothing I fear me, yea, I distrust me, that I shall 
never be minister of God's word ; yea, if arrogancy were not in me, 
how should I, of all wretches the greatest, think me to look to the 
highest room and vocation that is upon earth. * Therefore eftsoones 
I desire you to pray for me, that God's will may be done in me whether 
I live or die, so that his name be honoured. 

My master which was, hath denied me all his beneficence, but 
I have for this life more than enough, thanks be to God ; as this 
winter I intend by God's favour to declare more unto you. This 
book which I have sent, take it in good part, it is the first, I trust 
it shall not be the last, God hath appointed me to translate. The 
print is very false, I am sorry for it. I pray you be not offended at 
my babbling in the prologues, &c. 

JOHN BRADFORD. 

I will lye, God willing, this summer, at Katherine's Hall in 
Cambridge ; write to me. 



No. 6.t 



TO FATHER TRAVES. 

The loving kindness and abundant mercy of God the Father, 
poured plentifully upon all the faithful, in the blood of that meek 

* Rom. xi. 13. 2 Cor. v. 20. f Fox, iii. 361. 



19 

Lamb, Jesus Christ, our only satisfaction and mediator, through the 
working 1 of the most holy Spirit, be increased and perceived in you 
daily more and more, to the glory of God, &c. 

Because I stand both in doubt of the reading and delivery of 
such letters as 1 write and send unto you, dearly beloved Father 
Traves, I am constrained to leave off such griefs, and spiritual wants, 
as thanks unto the Lord I unwillingly feel ; for the flesh, as you 
know, loveth nothing so much as security, of all enemies most 
perilous, and not a little familiar with nie ; from the which, with vain 
glory, hypocrisy, &c. and worldliness, the Lord deliver me. 

I had not thought to have written thus much, but these I cannot 
keep, but commit them to your prayers. And to the intent I would 
you should not think any ingratitude in m , as also that I might give 
you occasion to write to me again, as heretofore I have done, even 
so do 1 interturb and trouble you with my babbling, but yet having 
this commodity, that 1 babble not so much as I wont to do. The 
cause I have declared, which had almost been the cause I had not 
written at all. I did write unto you from London when 1 came 
hither; send me word what letters you have received, for from you 
I have received but two, and both by John Moss, and in the latter 
I perceived that the Lord had visited you with sickness, his fatherly 
rod, whereby he declareth his love upon you, and that he careth for 
you, ut in tempore supremo exultes nunc ad breve tempus afflictus, 
quod exploratio fidei multo pretiosior auro quod perit, et tamen 
probatur, &c. Siquidem in hoc vocatus es, ut cum Christo patiaris, nam 
et cum illo glorificaberis. Certus enirn sermo est, si sufterimus et 
conregnabirnus. You know that Christ, etsi filius Dei erat, tamen 
ex his quae passus est didicit obedientiam. Patientia opus perfectum 
habeat ut sitis perfect! et integri, nullaque in parte diminuti ; and 
doth not patientia come of probatio, the one then you had, so that 
you were going a school to learn the other ; which learned, what 
want you ? 

The end of all God's proving, is as Paul saith, ut impertiat nobis 
sanctimoniam ; igitur gratias age Deo Patri qui idoneum te fecit ad 
participationem sortis sanctorum in lumine, &c. Nam qui parumper 
afflixit, idem instauret te, fulciat, roboret, stabiliat. And that the 
Lord knoweth how eripere pios e tribulatione, and that in tempore 



20 

opportune, even shortly; forhaud tardat qui promisit; nam modicum 
tempus, et videbis me ; veniens enim veniet, et non tardabit. Itaque 
qui consortes estis Crucis Christi, gaudete, saith Peter, ut in reve- 
latione quoque glorise ejus gaudeatis exultantes. 

Oh ho\v doth my will overrun my wit. Why Bradford, whom 
writest you unto? Thou shewest thyself. Thus Father Traves, 
you may see my rashness to rabble out the scripture without 
purpose, time, or reason. I will not blot it out as I thought to have 
done; for that hereby you shall see my need of your prayer. 

Well, I look for a watch word from you, write for God's sake, 
and pray for me that I may be in something profitable to the Lord's 
congregation, that I may be no stumbling block, ut confundantur in 
me qui ilium expectant. Send me such counsel as the Lord's spirit 
shall move you how to study, my desire is in something to be profit- 
able, if it were the Lord's will, for to be minister verbi, alas I am 
unmeet, and my time, my time, yea the Lord's time, I have hitherto 
evil, yea most wickedly mispent it, &c. Thus will I end ; the Lord 
be with you, and your bedfellow, to whom have me heartily com- 
mended, and to all your children and family, the which I beseech 
the Lord to lighten his countenance over, and grant you his peace; 
pray for me. I long for winter to speak with you. Rescribe oro. 
Pray for me. This Assumption Day in Katherine's Hall in 
Cambridge. 

Your's with all I have and can, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



THE supreme disposer of all events had 
however a far more important work for this 
distinguished servant of Christ to perform, 
than the intricate mazes and the benumbing 
practice of human jurisprudence. Although 
the preceding letters intimate an intention of 
removing to Cambridge, we are not informed 



21 

what particular circumstances induced him 
to quit the study of the law. It is highly 
probable that his associations with the vener- 
able Latimer, to which these letters allude, 
had a considerable share in leading Bradford 
to that determination, which was so soon to 
place on his head the crown of Martyrdom. 

Accordingly we find him a student at 
Catherine Hall, Cambridge, in the year 1548, 
and within a year after that event he had 
made such proficiency in his studies, that 
the University conferred upon him the degree 
of Master of Arts, a circumstance to which 
he alludes in the following letter : 
No. 7.* 

TO FATHER TRAVES. 

The plentiful grace of God the Father, through our only Master 
and Lord Jesus Christ, increase in us daily to the glory of his name. 
Amen. 

Forasmuch as I have often written to you, good Father Traves, 
and yet have not once heard from you since Pentecost, I cannot now 
be so bold either in writing much or often as 1 would have been : 
hovvbeit this I say, that I much marvel that I hear not from you : 
but not so, for I am so wretched a sinner, that the Lord's Spirit 1 am 
certain doth not move you to write to me, yet for God's sake pray 
for me, and in the Lord's name I desire you to give thanks to God 
for me. And when it may please God to move you, write to me, 
though it be but two words, and counsel me how to study the word 
of life, the ministry whereof I desire, if it be the Lord's pleasure, 

* Fox, iii. 361. 



22 

to profess, and that I may do it both in living- and learning, pray 
for me. 

Herus metis omnibus rebus suis me abdicavit, et quae prius 
concesserat, jam solvere renuit, et mihi prorsus factus est inimicus. 
I know not when I shall see you in body, therefore let me hear from 
you. I write not this that you should think me in egestate aut 
angustiis esse. No, Father, the Lord giveth meomnia aftatim, and 
will do. I trust I shall shortly here have a fellowship, I am so 
promised, and therefore 1 have taken the degree of Master of Art, 
which else I could not have attained. If I get a fellowship, 1 shall 
not need de crastino sollicitus esse, as hereafter I shall more write to 
you by God's grace. 1 pray you write again, and often pray for me. 
In haste as appeareth, the 22d of October. Ne sciat mater mea quod 
herus meus adeo duriter mecum egit, &c. 

Miserrimus Peccator, 

J. BRADFORD. 



Very soon afterwards he was spontaneous- 
ly elected a Fellow of Pembroke College, on 
the invitation of his friend, Bishop Ridley,* 
from whence we have the two following 
letters : 

No. at 

TO FATHER TRAVES. 



The peace and plenteous mercy of God our heavenly Father, in 
his Christ our only Lord and Saviour, be ever increased in you by the 
holy spirit, qui efficit omnia in omnibus, Amen. 

* This Prelate was then Bishop of Gloucester, and also Master of 
Pembroke College. Biog. Brit. ii. 542. 
t Fox, iii. 361. 



Father Traves, though I might think myself more happy, if you 
would often write unto me, yet because I ought to have respect to 
your pains, which now that old man cannot so well sustain as it 
might, I had rather lose my happiness in that behalf, than will your 
grief; for as much as it can be no happiness unto me which turneth 
to your pain : yet because pain is not painful when it is joined with 
gain, 1 therefore desire you for God's sake to pray often for me : for 
if I shall not be worthy of your prayer, as the Lord who knoweth all 
things doth right well see it, and so rny conscience witnesseth, yet 
your good prayer shall retuin into your own bosom. 

And know this, that whoso converteth a sinner, whether it be 
by prayer, preaching, or writing letters, &c. the same hath saved 
a soul. Use therefore, for God's sake I ask it, that pains where- 
unto is joined profit, I mean prayer to God for me, a miserable 
and most wretched sinner: and as for the gainless pain in writing 
to me, use it yet as you may, and surely God for whose sake you do 
it, in that he will reward a cup of cold water, will in something 
requite you. 

And I know certainly, that if you did see what spiritual profit 
I receive by your letters, I am certain you would not think all your 
labour lost. For Christ's sake therefore begin again to write unto 
me, and reprove me sharply for my horrible unthankfulness to God. 
You know how that God hath exonerated my laden* conscience of 
the great weighty burthen, for so I did wrile to you, yea the Lord 
hath in a manner unburdened me of the lesser burthen also: for 
I have an assurance of the payment of the same by Candlemas. 
Lo! thus you see what a good God the Lord is unto me. O Father 
Traves, give thanks for me, and pray God to forgive me my un- 
thankfulness. But what should I rehearse the benefits of God 
towards me ? Alas, I cannot, I am too little for all his mercies, yea, I 
am not only unthankful, but I am too far contumelious against God. 
For where you know the sun, the moon, and the seven stars did 
forsake me, and would not shine upon me, you know what 1 mean 
per herum et heriles amicos, yet the Lord hath given me here in 
the University as good a living as I would have wished. For I am 
now a Fellow of Pembroke Hall: for the which neither I nor any 

* Loden. 



24 



other forme did ever make any suit:* yea, there was a contention 
between the master of Catherine Hall, and the Bishop of Rochester, 
who is master of Pembroke Hall, whether should have me, sit hoc 
tibi dictum. 

Thus you may see the Lord's carefulness for me. My fellowship 
here is worth seven pounds a year; for I have allowed me eighteen- 
pence a week, and as good as thirty-three shillings and fourpence, 
and fourpence a year in money, besides my chamber, launder, barber, 
&c. and I am bound to nothing but once or twice a year to keep a 
problem. Thus you see what a good Lord God is unto me. But I 
pray you what do I now to God for all this? I will not speak of the 
great mercies he shevveth upon my soul. Surely, Father Traves, I 
have clean forgotten God, I am all secure, idle, proud, hard-hearted, 
utterly void of brotherly love; I am envious, and disdain others; I 
am a very stark hypocrite, not only in my words and works, but 
even in my letters to you. I am all sensual without the true fear of 
God, another manner of man than I have been since my call. 
Alas, Father Traves, I write this to put myself in remembrance, but 
1 am without all sense, I do but only write it. For God's sake pray 
for me, which am only in name a Christian, in very deed a very world- 
ling, and to say to you the very truth, the most worldling of all 
other. 1 pray you exhort my mother now and then, with my sister 
Margaret, to fear the Lord ; and if my mother had not sold the fox 
fur which was in my father's Gown, I would she would send it me. 
She must have your counsel in a piece of cloth. 

Your's for ever, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 9t. 

TO FATHER TRAVERS, MINISTER OF 
BLACKLEY. 

The abundant grace and rich mercy of God in Christ, our only 
Saviour and High Bishop, be increased in your heart through the 

* Sute. t Fox, Hi. 355. 



25 

lively worker of all goodness, the Holy Spirit, until the Day of the 
Lord, &c. 

I have received your two letters (good Father Travers) since I 
did write unto you, whereof though honesty willeth make an excuse, 
yet troth biddeth me otherwise, and saith, it is better with shame to 
confess the fault, (for therein is, as a man might say, half a deserving 
of pardon), than without shame to lie. I might have written unto 
you twice, notwithstanding indeed some business wherein I have 
something been occupied, but yet 1 have not. Now the case is, 
because I would not. And why would I not ? but because 1 could 
not, I mean, because my careing is taken away by sin, for my sins do 
forbid goodness unto me. Indeed if my sinning were of infirmity, 
there were good hope of mercy of that which I have lost: but seeing, 
both willing and knowing I have too much yielded, and yet do 
yield to my infirmities, justly I do deserve, that because I have cast 
away, and rejected the word of the Lord behind my back, the Lord 
should reject me. And because I would not have blessing, 1 am 
worthy, as David saith, that it be taken away from me. 

I have now at length experience, that to bring a man forth of 
God's favour, is sooner seen when a man hath received all things 
abundantly, than when need or the cross pincheth. Afore it pleased 
God to work the restitution, you know what I mean, and afore it 
pleased God to provide for me as he hath done, so that I can say in 
nothing where any want is, as pertaining to my body : I was another 
manner of man, than now I am, and yet God's deserts have otherwise 
bounden me: but the scripture is true, I have advanced my children, 
and nourished them, but they have contemned me, I have fed them 
that they were fat and gross, and they spurned against me. Per- 
chance you will ask me wherein ? Oh, Father Travers, I warrant 
you, this is my stile, in carnal and not in spiritual writing, doth 
something shew unto you; but as for it, in comparison of other things 
is nothing. For where the life of man is such, that either it paineth 
or amendeth, as Paul saith, the outward man is corrupted day by day, 
and therefore except the inward man be renewed, the shoe goeth 
awry, every building in Christ doth grow to a holy temple, as the 
wicked on the contrary part shall proceed to worser. 

1 have made a change far otherwise in going back, than I think 





26 

by letters I can persuade you: Wherein will you say? For the 
first, second, and third, and to be brief, in all thing's. As for an 
example, God's true fear is flown away from me, love to my brethren 
is exiled from me, faith is utterly taken away. Instead whereof is 
distrust and doubtfulness bearing rule, contempt of God's honour, 
and of my brethren reigning; and instead of true fear, an imagined 
fear, according to my brain holding the principality. For I ex- 
tenuate sin, and I do not consider that is sin, which a Christian 
ought to consider; that sin being not forgiven, is such a thing for the 
which God casteth his creature away, as examples not only of Saul, 
of Judas, of the Israelites, (which were beloved indeed, and yet for 
sin are rejected), but also of others, on whom lately for my warning 
God hath shewed the same, do admonish me. 

But it is but my pen which writes this: for the wicked, saith 
Solomon, when they come into the depth of their sins, then they 
grow in security. I am I cannot tell what: I fear, but it is but 
blindly, or else would I awake otherwise than I do, I fear me I say 
that I am entangled of the devil, after his desire. Pray for me that 
the Lord would give me repentance, that I may escape out of his 
snares. Alas, the spirit of prayer, which before I have felt plenti- 
fully, is taken clean away from me. The Lord be merciful unto me. 
I am sold under sin, I am the bond slave of sin ; for whom I obey, 
his servant I am. I am ashamed to speak oft, no I shame not at all ; 
for I have forgot to blush, I have given over to weep. And truly 
I obey, I obey 1 say my own concupiscences, namely in eating, in 
drinking, in jangling and idleness, I will not speak of vain glory, 
envy, disdain, hypocrisy, desire of estimation, self love, and who can 
tell all? 

Is this the reward thou renderest to God, O Bradford? It is 
true, yea too true, thou knowest it, O Lord, for thy mercy's sake 
pardon me. In your letters you touch me home, how that there is 
no man's heart, but that considering the ingratitude of this world, 
this belly-chear, wherein you even take me by the nose, &c. his eyes 
would tumble out great gushes of tears. The Lord be praised which 
worketh so in you, for it is with me as with them of whom you com- 
plain. Indeed it may be so again, but oh it is very unlikely; for 
mine enemies are become old, and are made by custom more than 



27 

familiar, for they are as it were converted into nature in me. Yet 
I am not g'rieved therefore, although I cannot persuade myself that 
God will help me. O Lord be merciful unto me for thy Christ's 
sake. This day I received the Lord's Supper, but how 1 have 
welcomed him, this night, which I have spent in lasciviousness, in 
wantonness, and in prodigality, obeying my flesh and belly, doth so 
declare, that what to say, or write any more, I know not ; sleep doth 
aggravate mine eyes, and to pray 1 am altogether unapt. All this is 
come through the occasion of making this bringer a supper in my 
chamber; the Lord pardon me, I trust no more to be so far overseen. 
But this I write, not that the anger of God, which I have deserved, 
so feareth me, thou knowest it O Lord ; but of this perchance too 
much. 

For God's sake pray for me, good Father Travers, and write unto 
me as you may by your weakness, your letters do me good. By this 
which I have now written you may consider more, touch me therefore 
home in your letters, and the Lord, I trust, shall and will reward 
you. Jf God lend me life, of which I am most unworthy, I will more 
trouble you with my letters, than I have done, but bear with me, 
I do it not out of any evil will, the Lord 1 take to judge, there is 
none whose company and talk I more desire than your's, 1 speak it 
before God. 

Prove my mother's mind how she can bear it, if when I shall 
come down I shall shew myself another man outwardly, but alas 
feignedly, than before 1 have done. Marry when my coming will be 
I know not. Indeed two things move me sore, the one for my 
mother's cause, concerning her better instruction, if the Lord would 
thereto use me his instrument ; the other is to talk with you, and 
eftsoons to trouble you, as I have hitherto ever done, but always to 
my profit. For God's sake pray for me, for I had never so much 
need. This Sunday at night, following St. Andrew's Day, at Pem- 
broke Hall. 

The most miserable, hard hearted, unthankful sinner, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



The learned Martin Bucer, who had been 
invited by Archbishop Cranmer to come to 
England, was then professor of divinity at 
Cambridge; and became so exceedingly 
partial to Bradford, and so highly es- 
teemed his piety, that he urged him to 
employ his talents in preaching. To all such 
solicitations, though often repeated, Bradford 
modestly replied that he was unable to un- 
dertake that office, through want of learning; 
but Bucer endeavoured to remove that objec- 
tion by telling him, that if he ,had not fine 
manchet bread to bestow, he should at least 
give the poor people barley bread, or whatever 
else the Lord had committed to him. (<*/ 

Dr. Ridley had formed so high an opinion 
of Bradford, that very soon after that prelate 
was translated to the See of London, he sent for 
him to come and take deacon's orders. Upon 
that occasion, Bradford considered that some 
of the ceremonies then practised in ordination 
were abuses, and refused to submit to them ; 
but Ridley perceiving that Bradford was 
inclined to enter into the ministry, and well 
aware of his intrinsic worth; was of too 
expanded and comprehensive a mind to insist 
upon his compliance with such non-essentials ; 



29 

and therefore not only ordained* him without 
insisting upon the objectionable practice ;f 
but obtained for him a license to preach ; and 
gave him a prebend's stall in his own cathe- 
dral church of St. Paul. And so great was the 
confidence of this judicious prelate in our 
martyr, that he made him his own domestic 
chaplain.J 

Our reformer performed his duty of a 
preacher in an exemplary manner for the 
space of three years, teaching faithfully and 
labouring diligently, in many parts of 
England, but probably more generally at 
St. Paul's. He exposed and reproved sin 
with severity ; preached Christ crucified 
sweetly ; forcibly attacked the prevailing 
errors and heresies, and earnestly exhorted 
his hearers to holiness of life. /A/ 

The following letters also must necessarily 
have been written before Bradford went into 
confinement : 



* See App. Note (C.) t See App. Note (D.) J See App. Note (E.) 

" He was at Catherine first, and afterwards elected of Pembroke, 
and he was an earnest preacher there, exciting his auditors to walk 
worthy of the gospel, and threatening them with terrible judgments, if 
they rejected the means they then-enjoyed." Strype Eccl. Mem. vol. 
Hi. pt. 1. 365. See App. Note (F ) 



30 

No. 10.* 

TO M. TRAVES, 

Begging his Prayers, and lamenting his own sinful Condition. 



GRACE and mercy from God the Father through our Lord Christ, 
govern our minds, ne dominetur in nobis peccatum. Amen. 

Yesterday a little before supper, I was desired by a neighbour, 
my mother's friend, ayenst this day to dinner: unto whom, for that 
a refusal would have been imputed disdainful stateliness, I unwil- 
lingly, (God to witness) but not unadvisedly yet foolishly, granted 
to the same : which I advertise you, as mine excuse of not coming 
this day. And for mine absence yesterday, my vain liking for you 
to have come with your nearest neighbour, (the rather for that I hear 
him commit to you the survey of his will), hath with some repentance 
deceived me, though to my hurt and loss, yet to your profit, which 
else, by my coming and troubling jou, should have been contrary. 
If you come not to morrow hither, send me word by this bringer and 
if there be no sermon, I will come to you, to have your counsel ; in 
such things as by letters I will not now write. 

In the mean season, in your communication with God, 1 pray 
you have me, of all sinners, a most negligent, unthankful, and 
wretched, (Oh ! that from the bottom of my heart I confessed the 
same unfeignedly,) in remembrance : that at length I might truly 
convert, and return from these greasy flesh-pots of Egypt, to feed with 
his manna, patiently and assuredly expecting his mercy, joyfully 
sighing for, and bearing the badge of his disciples and servants, the 
cross: I mean to crucify this luciferous and gluttonous heart, more 
than most, worthy of the rich Epulo, his unquenchable thirst, and 
gnawing worms of Herod. This paper, pen, and ink, yea, the marble 
stone, weepeth, to see my slothful security, and unthankful hardness, 



* Strype Eccl. Mem. vol. iii. pt. 2. 283. 



31 

to so merciful and long-suffering a Lord. I confess it, 1 confess it, 
though not tremblingly, humbly or penitently, yet I confess it, Oh! 
hypocritically I confess it. 

Therefore pray, pray for me, ut resipiscam, et ut Deum convertar, 
non contemnens iram ejus, et mortem filii sui Jesu Christi, sed ut spiritu 
incedam,et spiritu vivam: evermore to bewail my carnal security, 
and this philautiam : that 1 may be made a new creature through 
grace, made meet to receive the new wine of the gospel into a new 
vessel, purified by faith, wrought by the spirit of consolation. Which 
may vouchsafe to lead us in all truth and godly living ; ut in ipso 
cognoscamus Deum patrem, solum verum Deum, et quern misit Jesum 
Chri-^um. To which most blessed Trinity be all honour and glory 
for ever. Amen. From Manchester in haste, this Thursday in the 
morning'. 

Yours as his own, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 
To my very loving friend John Traves, 
in Blakely. 



No. 1L* 



To some Person of Quality unknown ; excusing his not coming ; 
being desired; and debasing himself.-^ 

GRACE and virtue from God the Father, through our Lord Jesus 
Christ, govern our minds, that sin have not the upper hand of virtue 
in our souls. Amen. 

Whereas your mastership hath desired me to have been with you 
this present day, which was never in your company, I being also a 
refuse, an abject, a hireling of this naughty and wretched world ; 

* Idem p. 284. 

t There is little doubt but that this was addressed to the Lord Russel, to whom we shafl 
afterwards find two other letters. 



yea, a worse than so, one of the most wretched sinners living : these 
things considered on the one side, and your humane gentleness on 
the other, seeing, I say, that I have disoheyed your most gentle 
request and desire, I am worthy, if ye should entreat with me accord- 
ing to my deserving, not only to go without, or want all such ghostly 
edifying and profit, which I might have had of your mastership, hut 
also to have you from now forth ever to be heavy master to me. But 
all this notwithstanding, I will comfort myself with your gentleness, 
trusting ye will not take me at the worst. And thus comforting 
myself with your gentle humanity, 1 humbly beseech your mastership 
that ye will be content this next week, or the Easter week, or any 
other time at your pleasure. And surely, if ye will appoint no time, 
I will come afore I be called. I thank you for your book. 



After the death of King Edward VI. 
Bradford still continued diligent in preaching, 
until he was unjustly deprived both of his 
office and liberty by Queen Mary and her 
Council; and that for an act in itself highly 
praiseworthy, and which especially merited 
gratitude and kindness at the hands of those 
w'ho thenceforward became his inveterate and 
unrelenting persecutors. 

The circumstances were as follow. On 
Sunday, the 13th of April, 1553, Gilbert 
Bourn, who had been appointed by Bonner, 
then Bishop of London, a Canon of St. 
Paul's,* delivered an inflammatory discourse 
at Paul's Cross in praise of Bonner, against 

* He was afterwards made Bishop of Bath and Wells, in the room of 
Win. Barlow, \vlio had fled on the accession of Mary. 



33 

the late monarch, and in favour of popery, 
which so excited the populace that they were 
ready to drag him out of the pulpit. 

Neither respect for the place, the presence 
of Bonner, nor regard for the civil authority 
of the Lord Mayor, who remonstrated with 
them, could restrain their rage ; at length a 
dagger having been thrown at Bourn by one of 
the mob, his brother entreated Bradford, who 
stood in the pulpit behind him, to come forward 
and address the people. Our martyr cheer- 
fully complied with this request, and exhorted 
them to submission and obedience to so good 
effect, that the multitude, after hailing him 
with affectionate expression, dispersed qui- 
etly. 

As soon as Bourn thought he might safely 
venture out of the pulpit, and, notwithstand- 
ing the civil authorities were at hand to 
protect him, he besought Bradford not to quit 
him till he was in a situation of safety; and 
whilst the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs preceded 
Bourn to the Grammar School House, Brad- 
ford and Rogers (another martyr) kept close to 
him behind, concealing him with their gowns, 
and thus conducted him safe through the 
mob.# In the afternoon of the same day, 

* Upon that occasion some of the people warned him of his own im- 
pending danger, by exclaiming, " Ah, Master Bradford, you are saving 
him who will one day help to burn you." 

F 



34 

Bradford, who had not yet been silenced, 
preached at Bow Church, and shortly re- 
proved the people for their tumultuous and 
seditious behaviour in the morning. 

Within three days afterwards, however, 
he was sent for to the Tower of London to 
appear before the Queen and her Council; 
where he was charged with his conduct on 
the preceding Sunday, as seditious ; his ac- 
cusers choosing to assume, that as he could so 
easily disperse the mob, he must have had some 
hand in exciting it.* They also objected 
against him for preaching; and finally com- 
mitted him to the Tower ; during his confine- 
ment in which, it would seem that he wrote 
the following letters: 



No. 12.t 

To his Mother, a godly Matron, dwelling in Manchester, and 
to his Brethren and Sisters, and other of his Friends there. 

OUR dear and sweet Saviour Jesus Christ, whose prisoner at this 
present (praised be his name therefore 1 am,) preserve and keep you 

* See Bradford's own account of this transaction in his examination 
January 31, 1555, from which it appears, that he endangered his own 
life, in order to save that of Bourn. 

t Fox, iii. 308. Cov. 290. The general title to the letters of Bradford, in this col- 
lection is as follows : letters of Maister John Bradforde, a faythful minister and a synguler 
pyller of Christes churche : by whom great travailes and diligence in preaching and 
planting the syncerity of the gospel, by whose most godly and innocent lyfe, and by 
whose long and payneful imprisonments for the maintenance of the truth, the kingdom 
of God was not a little advanced ; who also at last most valiantly and cheerfully gave 
Lis blood for the same. The 4 Day of July, in the year of our Lord, 1553. 



35 



jy good mother, with my brothers and sisters, my Father John 
Travers, Thomas Sorrocalde, Lawrence and James Bradshaw, with 
their wives and families, &c. now and for ever. Amen. 

I am at this present in prison sure enough for starting, to confirm 
that I have preached unto you: as I am ready, I thank God, with my 
life and blood to seal the same, if God vouch me worthy of that 
honour. For good mother and brethren, it is a most special benefit 
of God to suffer for his name's sake and gospel, as now I do : I 
heartily thank him for it, and am sure that with him I shall be partaker 
of his glory, as Paul saith ; if we suffer with him we shall reign with 
him. Therefore be not faint hearted, but rather rejoice, at the least 
for my sake, which now am in the right and high way to heaven ; 
for by many afflictions we must enter into the kingdom of heaven. 

Now will God make known his children ; when the wind doth 
not blow, then cannot a man know the wheat from the chaff: but 
when the blast cometh, then flieth away the chaff, but the wheat 
remaineth and is so far from being hurt, that by the wind it is more 
cleansed from the chaff and known to be wheat. Gold when it is 
cast into the fire, is the more precious : so are God's children by the 
cross of affliction. Always God beginneth his judgment at his 
house. Christ and his apostles were in most misery in the land of 
Jewry, but yet the whole land smarted for it after: so now God's 
children are first chastised in this world, that they should not be 
damned with the world ; for surely great plagues of God hang over 
this realm. 

Ye all know, there was never more knowledge of God, and less 
godly living and true serving of God.* It was counted a foolish 
thing to serve God truly, and earnest prayer was not past upon. 
Preaching was but a pastime. The communion was counted too 
common. Fasting to subdue the flesh, was far out of use. Alms 
was almost nothing. Malice, covetousness and uncleanness, were 
common every where, with swearing, drunkenness and idleness. 
God therefore now is come, as you have heard me preach, and 
because he will not damnf us with the world, he beginneth to punish 
us: as me for my carnal living. For as for my preaching, I am most 

* Reader: Is not this still more the case in our day? t Dampne. 



36 

certain it is and was God's truth, and 1 trust to give my life for it 
by God's grace, but because I lived not the gospel truly but out- 
wardly, therefore doth he thus punish me ; nay, rather in punishing, 
bless me. And indeed I thank him more of this prison, than of any 
parlour, yea than of any pleasure that ever I had ; for in it I find God, 
my most sweet good God always. The flesh is punished, first to 
admonish us now heartily to live as we profess, secondly to certify the 
wicked of their just damnation, if they repent not. 

Perchance you are infirmed and weakened of that which I have 
preached, because God doth not defend it, as you thiuk, but sufiereth 
the old popish doctrine to come again and prevail ; but you must 
know, good mother, that God by this doth prove and try his children 
and people ; whether they will unfeignedly and simply hang on him 
and his word. So did he with the Israelites, bringing them into a 
desert, after their coming out of Egypt, where, I mean the wilder- 
ness, was want of all things in comparison of that which they had in 
Egypt. 

Christ, when he came into this world, brought no worldly wealth 
nor quietness with him, but rather war; the world, sailh he, shall 
rejoice, but ye shall mourn and weep, but your weeping shall be 
turned into joy; and therefore, happy are they that mourn and weep, 
for they shall be comforted. They are marked then with God's mark 
in their foreheads, and not with the beast's mark, I mean the Pope's 
shaven crown, who now with his shavelings rejoice; but woe unto 
them, for they shall be cast down, they shall weep and mourn. The 
rich glutton had here his joy, and Lazarus sorrow, but afterwards 
the time was changed. The end of carnal joy is sorrow. Now let 
the whoremonger joy, with the drunkard, swearer, covetous, mali- 
cious, and blind buzzard Sir John : for the mass will not bite them, 
neither make them blush as preaching would. Now may they do 
what they will, come devils to the church and go devils home, for no 
man must find fault. And they are glad of this: now have they their 
hearts' desire, as the Sodomites had when Lot was gone, but what 
followed ? Forsooth when they cried, peace ! all shall be well ; then 
came Go(J's vengeance, fire and brimstone from heaven, and burned 
up every mother's child: even so, dear mother, will it do to our 
papists. 



37 

Wherefore fear God ; stick to his word, though all the world should* 
swerve from it. Die you must once, and when or how you cannot tell. 
Die therefore with Christ, suffer for serving him truly and after his 
word : for sure may we be, that of all deaths it is most to be desired 
to die for God's sake. This is the most safe kind of dying : we 
cannot doubt but that we shall go to heaven if we die for his name's 
sake. And that you shall die for his name's sake, God's word will 
warrant you, if you stick to that which God by me hath taught you. 
You shall see that I speak as I think; for by God's grace I will drink 
before you of this cup if 1 be put to it. 

I doubt not but God will give me his grace, and strengthen me 
thereunto: pray that he would, and that I refuse it not. I am at 
a point, even when my Lord God will, to come to him. Death nor life, 
prison nor pleasure, I trust in God, shall be able to separate me, from 
my Lord God and his Gospel. In peace, when no persecution was, 
then were you content and glad to hear me; then did you believe 
me ; and will you not do so now, seeing I speak that which I trust by 
God's grace if need be, to verify with my life ? Good mother I write 
before God, to you, as I have preached before him. 

It is God's truth I have taught ; it is that same infallible word where- 
of he hath said, heaven and earth shall pass, but my word shall not pass. 
The mass and such baggage as the false worshippers of God and ene- 
mies of Christ's Cross, the papists I say, have brought in again to 
poison the church of God withal, displeaseth God highly and is abomi- 
nable in his sight. Happy may he be, which of conscience suffereth 
loss of life or goods in disallowing it. Come not at it. If God be 
God, follow him; if the mass be God, let them that will see it, 
hear or be present at it, go to the devil with it. 

What is there as God ordained ? His supper was ordained to 
be received of us in the memorial of his death, for the confirmation 
of our faith that his body was broken for us, and his blood shed for 
pardon of our sins ; but in the mass there is no receiving, but the 
priest keepeth all to himself alone. Christ saith, take, eat; no saith 
the priest, gape, peep. There is a sacrificing, yea killing of Christ 
again as much as they may. There is idolatry in worshipping the 

* Would. * 



38 

outward sign of breau and wine; there is all in Latin, you cannot 
tell what he saith. To conclude, there is nothing as God ordained; 
wherefore my good mother come not at it. 

Oh! will some say, it will hinder you if you refuse to come to 
mass, and to do as other do. But God will further you, be you 
assured, as you shall one day find; whohatli promised to them that 
suffer hindrance or loss of any thing in this world, his great blessing 
here, and in the world to come, life everlasting. You shall be counted 
an heretic, but not of others than of heretics, whose praise is a 
dispraise. 

You are not able to reason against the priests; but God will, that 
all they shall not be able to withstand you. Nobody will do so but 
you only. Indeed no matter, for few enter into the narrow gate which 
bringeth to salvation. Howbeit, you shall have with you, I doubt not, 
Father Traves and others, my brothers and sisters to go with you there- 
in; but if they will not, I your son in GOD, I trust, shall not leave you 
an inch, but go before you ; pray that I may, and give thanks for me. 
Rejoice in my suffering, for it is for your sakes to confirm the truth 
I have taught. 

Howsoever you do, beware this letter come not abroad but into 
Father Traves his hands; for if it should be known that I have pen 
and ink in the prison, then would it be worse with me.* Therefore to 
yourselves keep this letter, commending me to God and his mercy in 
Christ Jesus, who make me worthy for his name's sake, to give my 
life for his gospel and church sake. Out of the Tower of London, 
the 6th day of October, 1553. 

My name I write not for causes, you know it well enough ; like 
the letter never the worse. Commend me to all our good brethren 
and sisters in the Lord. Howsoever you do be obedient to the higher 
powers; that is in no point, either in hand or tongue, rebel; but 
rather, if they command that, which with good conscience you cannot 
obey, lay your head on the block, and suffer ichatsoever they shall 
do or say. By patience possess your souls. 



* For all this caution, jet this letter came to the Earl of Derby's knowledge. Fox, iiL 
284. 309. 



39 

No. 13*. 

To M. Warcuppe and his WifeJ Mrs. Wilkinson, and other of 
his godly Friends, with their Families, 

THE same peace our Saviour Christ left with his people, which 
is not without war with the world, Almighty God work plentifully 
in your hearts now and for ever. Amen. 

The time I perceive is come wherein the Lord's ground will be 
known, I mean it will now shortly appear, who have received God's 
gospel into their hearts indeed, to the taking of good root therein, 
for such will not for a little heat or sun burning, wither, but stiffly 
will stand and grow on, maugre the malice of all burning showers 
and tempests; and for as much as, my beloved in the Lord, I am 
persuaded of you, that ye be indeed the children of God, God's good 
ground, which groweth and will grow on, by God's grace, bringing 
forth fruit to God's glory after your vocations, as occasion shall be 
offered, burn the sun never so hot: 3: therefore I cannot but so signify 
unto you, and heartily pray you and every one of you, accordingly 
to go on forwards after your master Christ, not sticking at the foul 
way and stormy weather which you are come into and are like so to 
do; of this being most certain, that the end of your journey shall be 
pleasant and joyful, in such a perpetual rest and blissfulness, as can- 
not but swallow up the showers that ye now feel and are soused in, 
if ye often set it before your eyes, after Paul's counsel in the latter 
end of the fourth and beginning of the fifth of the second Epistle to 

* Fox iii. 322. Cov. 280. 

t After Mrs. Warcup became a widow, among her other good deeds, she was instru- 
mental in saving the life of Bp. Jewell, who afterwards proved a great light to the 
English Church. For when in the beginning of Queen Mary's reign, fleeing away from 
Oxford, being on foot, he was so tired and spent, that he laid himself down upon the 
ground, half dead ; Augustin Bernher,that good man, by mere chance, or rather by great 
providence, met with him in that forlorn condition, and setting him upon a horse, 
brought him to this lady, who refreshed and entertained him, and after conveyed him 
safe to London, whither he was going, in order to his flight beyond sea. Strype, Ecc) 
Mem. vol. iii. p. 1. 227. 

J Whote. 



40 

the Corinthians. Read it I pray you and remember it often, as a 
restorative to refresh you, least ye faint in the way. 

And besides this, set before you also, that though the weather 
be foul and storms grow a pace, yet ye go not alone, but other your 
brothers and sisters pad the same path, as St. Peter telleth us, and 
therefore company should cause you to be the more courageous and 
cheerful. But if ye had no company at all to go presently with you, 
I pray you tell me if even from the beginning, the best of God's 
friends have found any fairer weather and way to the place whither 
ye are going, I mean heaven, than ye now find and are like to do ; 
except ye will with the worldlings, which have their portion in this 
life, tarry still by the way till the storms be over past, and then, either 
night will so approach that ye cannot travel, or the doors will be 
shut* before ye come, and so you shall lodge without, in wonderful 
evil lodgings, read Apocalypse xxii. Begin at Abel and come from 
him to Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, the Patriarchs, Moses, 
David, Daniel, and all the saints in the old Testament, and tell me 
whether any of them found any fairer way than ye now find. 

If the old Testament will not serve, I pray you come to the new, 
and begin with Mary and Joseph, and come from them to Zacharias, 
Elizabeth, John Baptist, and every one of the apostles and evange- 
lists, and search whether they all found any other way into the city 
we travel towards, than by many tribulations. 

Besides these, if ye should call to remembrance the primitive 
church, ye should see so many to have given cheerfully their 
bodies to most grievous torments, rather than they would be 
stopped in their journey, that there is no day in the year, but, I dare 
say, a thousand was the fewest that with great joy lost their homes 
here ; but in the city they went unto, have found other manner of 
homes than man's mind is able to conceive. But if none of all these 
were, if ye had no company now to go with you as ye have me your 
poor brother and bondrnan of the Lord, with many other, I trust in 
God : if ye had none other of the fathers, patriarchs, good kings, 
prophets, apostles, evangelists, martyrs and other holy saints and 
children of God, that in their journey to heavenward found as ye 
now find and are like to find, if ye go on forward as 1 trust ye will; 

-* Sparred. 



41 



yet ye have your master and your captain Jesus Christ, the dear, 
darling, and only begotten and beloved Son of God, in whom was 
all the Father's pleasure, joy, and delectation ; ye have him to go 
before you, no fairer way but much fouler, into this our city of Jeru- 
salem. I need not, I trust, to rehearse what manner of way he found. 
Begin at his birth, and till ye come to his burial, ye shall find that 
every foot and stride of his journey, was no better but much worse 
than your's is now. 

Wherefore, my dearly beloved in the Lord, be not so dainty as to 
look for that at God's hands, your dear father, which the fathers, 
patriarchs, prophets, apostles, evangelists, martyrs, saints, and his 
own son Jesus Christ, did not find. Hitherto we have had fair 
way, I trow, and fair weather also : now because we have loitered by 
the way, and not made the speed we should have done, our loving 
Lord and sweet father, hath overcast the weather and stirred up 
storms and tempests, that we might with more haste run out our race 
before night come, and the doors be shut. The devil standeth now 
at every inn door in his city and country of this world, crying unto 
us to tarry and lodge in this or that place, till the storms be overpast : 
not that he would not have us wet to the skin, but that the time 
might overpass us to our utter destruction. Therefore beware of his 
enticements ; cast not your eyes on things that be present, how this 
man doth and how that man doth; but cast your eyes on the gleve 
ye run at, or else ye will lose the game. Ye know that he which 
runneth at the gleve, doth not look on other that stand by and go 
this way or that way, but altogether he looketh on the gleve, and 
on them that run with him, that those which be behind overtake 
him not, and that he may overtake them which be before: even so 
should we do, leave off looking on those which will not run the race 
to heaven's bliss, by the path of persecution with us; and cast our eyes 
on the end of our race and on them that go before us, that we may 
overtake them, and on them which come after us, that we may pro- 
voke them to come the faster after. 

He that shooteth will not cast his eyes in his shooting, on them 
that stand by or ride by the ways, I trow, but rather on the mark he 
shooteth at, for else he were like to win the wrong way. Even so 

G 



42 

my dearly beloved, let your eyes be set on the mark ye shoot at, even 
Christ Jesus, who for the journey he set before him, did joyfully 
carry his cross, contemning the shame, and therefore he now sitteth 
on the right hand of the throne of God. Let us follow him, for this 
did he that we should not be faint hearted. For we may be most 
assured, that if we suffer with him, we shall undoubtedly reign with 
him ; but if we deny him, surely he will deny us ; for he that is 
ashamed of me, saith Christ, and of my gospel in this faithless gene- 
ration, I will be ashamed of him before the angels of God in heaven. 
Oh, how heavy a sentence is this to all such as know the mass to be 
an abominable idol, full of idolatry, blasphemy and sacrilege against 
God and his Christ, as undoubtedly it is, and yet for fear of men, for 
loss of life or goods, yea some for advantage and gain, will honest it 
with their presence, dissembling both with God and man, as their 
own hearts and consciences do accuse them. Better it were that such 
had never known the truth, than thus wittingly, and for the fear or 
favour of man, whose breath is in his nostrils,* to dissemble it or 
rather, as indeed it is, to deny it. The end of such is like to be 
worse than their beginning. Such had need to take heed of the two 
terrible places to the Hebrews,f lest by so doing they fall therein. 
Let them beware they play no wily beguile with themselves, as some 
do 1 fear me which go to mass, and because they worship not, nor 
kneel not, nor knock not as others do, but sit still in their pews,J 
therefore they think they rather do good to others than hurt. 

But, alas, if these men would look into their own consciences, 
there should they see that they are very dissemblers, and in seeking 
to deceive others, for by this means the magistrates think them of 
their sort, they deceive themselves. They think at the elevation time, 
all mens eyes are set upon them to mark how they do. They think 
others hearing of such men going to mass, do see or enquire of thSr 
behaviour there. Oh if there were in those men that are so present 
at the mass, either love to God, or to their brethren, then would they 
for the one or both, openly take God's part, and admonish the people 
of their idolatry. They fear man more than him which hath power 



* Nosethrelles. t Chap. vi. x. J Pues. 



43 

to cast both soul and body into hell fire, they halt on both knees, 
they serve two masters. God have mercy upon such, and open their 
eyes with his eye salve that they may see, that they which take not 
part with God, are against God, and that they which gather not with 
Christ, do scatter abroad. Oh that they would read what St. John 
saith will be done to the fearful. The counsel given to the Church 
of Laodicea is good counsel to such. 

But to return to you again, dearly beloved, be not ye ashamed of 
God's gospel. It is the power of God to salvation, to all those that 
do believe it. Be therefore partakers of the afflictions, as God shall 
make you able, knowing for certain, that he will never tempt you 
further than he will make you able to bear; and think it no small 
grace of God to suffer persecution for God's truth, for the spirit of 
God resteth upon you, and ye are happy, as one day ye shall see. 
Read 2 Thess. 1. and Hebrews 12. As the fire hurteth not gold but 
maketh it finer, so shall ye be more pure by suffering with Christ. 
1 Peter 1. The flail and wind hurt not the wheat, but cleanse it 
from the chaff. And ye, dearly beloved, are God's wheat, fear not 
therefore the flail, fear not the fanning wind, fear not the millstone, 
fear not the oven, for all these make you more meet for the Lord's 
own tooth. Soap, though it be black, soileth not the cloth, but 
rather at the length maketh it more clean ; so doth the black cross 
help us to more whiteness, if God strike with his battledore. Because 
ye are God's sheep, prepare yourselves to the slaughter, always 
knowing that in the sight of the Lord, our death shall be precious. 
The souls under the altar, look for us to fill up their number ; happy 
are we if God have so appointed us. Howsoever it be, dearly beloved, 
cast yourselves wholly upon the Lord, with whom all the hairs of 
your head are numbered, so that not one of them shall perish. Will 
we, nill we, we must drink God's cup if he have appointed it for us. 
Drink it willingly then, and at the first when it is full, lest perad ven- 
ture if we linger, we shall drink at the length of the dregs with the 
wicked, if at the beginning we drink not with his children ; for with 
them his judgment beginneth, and when he hath wrought his will 
on Mount Sion, then will he visit the nations round about. 
" Submit yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of the Lord. 



44 

No man shall touch yor without his knowledge. When they touch 
you therefore, know it is to your weal ; God thereby will work to 
make you like unto Christ here, that ye may be also like unto him 
elsewhere. Acknowledge your unthankfulness and sin, and bless 
God that correcteth you in the world, because ye shall not be damned 
with the world. Otherwise might he correct us, than in making us 
to suffer for righteousness sake; but this he doth because we are not 
of the world. Call upon his name through Christ for his help, as 
he commandeth us. Believe that he is merciful to you, heareth you, 
and keepeth you ; I am with him in trouble, and will deliver him saith 
he. Know that God hath appointed bounds over the which the 
devil, and all the world shall not pass. If all things seem to be 
against you, yet say with Job, if he kill me I will hope in him. 
Read the 91st Psalm, and pray for me your poor brother and fellow 
sufferer for God's gospel's sake, his name therefore be praised, and 
of his mercy may he make me and you, worthy to suffer with good 
conscience for his name's sake. Die once we must, and when we 
know not ; happy are they whom God giveth to pay nature's debt ; 
I mean to die for his sake. 

Here is not our home, therefore let us accordingly consider 
things, always having before our eyes the heavenly Jerusalem, Heb. 
12. Apoc. 21. 22., the way thither to be by persecutions. The dear 
friends of God, how they have gone it after the example of our 
Saviour Jesus Christ, whose footsteps let us follow even to the very 
gallows, if God so will, not doubting but that as he within three days 
rose again immortal, even so we shall do in our time ; that is when 
the trumpet shall blow, and the angel shall shoot, and the son of man 
shall appear in the clouds with innumerable saints and angels in 
majesty and great glory; then shall the dead arise, and some shall be 
caught up into the clouds to meet the Lord, and so be always with 
him. Comfort yourselves with these words and pray for me for 
God's sake. E. Carcere, 19 Novemb. 1553. 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



45 

No. 14*. 

TO HIS BELOVED IN THE LORD, W. P. 



GRACE and peace from God the Father through our Lord Jesus 
Christ. Amen. 

Dear brother, God most justly- hath cast me now into a dungeon 
much better than I deserve ; wherein 1 see no man but my keeper, 
nor can I see any except they come to me. Something in the earth 
my lodging is; which is an example and memorial of my earthly 
affections, which God I trust will mortify, and of my sepulchre, 
whereunto I trust my Lord God will bring me in peace in his good 
time. In the mean season he gives me patience, lively hope, and his 
good spirit. I pray you pray for me, for the prayer of the godly, 
if it be effectual, worketh much with God. 

I thank God, my common disease f doth less trouble me now, 
than when I was abroad, which doth teach me the merciful provi- 
dence of God towards me. Commend me to Mrs. Wilkinson, whom 
we pray God to strengthen in his truth and grace to the end. Use 
true and hearty prayer and you shall perceive God at length will 
declare himself to see, where now many think he sleepeth. 
Out of the Tower, by the Lord's prisoner. 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 15.$ 
TO FATHER TRAVES. 



THE self same mercy, grace, and peace, which heretofore I have 
felt plenteously, though now through mine unthankfulness and wilful 

* Fox, iii. 329. Cov. 305. 

+ This disease was a rheum with a feebleness of stomach, wherewith he was much 

troubled whilst he was at liberty. Cov. 

j Fox, iii. 362. 



46 

obedience to the pleasure of this outward man, I neither feel, neither 
can be persuaded that I possess, yea if I shall truly write, I in manner 
pass not upon the same, so far am I fallen, the Lord help me, the 
same mercy, &c. I say, I wish unto you as I can, with all increase 
of godliness, hypocritically with my pen and mouth, beseeching you 
in your earnest prayers to God, to be an earnest suitor unto God for 
the which am fallen into such a security, and even an hardness of 
heart, that neither I sorrow my state, neither with any grief or fear 
of God's objection do write this; before the Lord which knoweth the 
hearts of all men I lie not. 

Consider for Christ's sake therefore, good Father Traves, my 
necessity though 1 myself do it not, and pray for me, that God cast 
me not off, as I deserve most justly. For where J ought to have well 
proceeded in God's school, by reason of the time, I confess it to my 
shame, I am so far gone back, as alas, if shame were in me I might 
be ashamed to write it, but much more to write it, and think it not, 
such is the reward of unthankfulness. For where God wrought the 
restitution of the great thing you know of, the which benefit should 
bind me to all obedience; alas Father Traves I am too unthankful, 
I find no will in my heart, though by my writing it will be hard to 
persuade you, either to be thankful, either to begin a new life in all 
things to mortify this outward man, and heartily to be well content 
to serve the Lord in spirit and verity, and withstand mine affections ; 
and especially my beastly sensuality in meat and drink, wherewith 
I was troubled at my being with you, but now through my licentious 
obeying that affect, I am fallen so, that a whole legion of spirituum 
malorum, possesseth me. 

The Lord, whom I only with my mouth, my heart still abiding 
both in hardness and wilfulness, call upon, deliver me and keep me. 
And for God's sake give you hearty thanks for the great benefit of 
restitution, pray to the Lord that at the length I may once return to 
tke obedience of bis good will. Amen. 

I thank you for your cheese, and so doth Father Latimer as 
unknown ; for 1 did give it him, and be saith he did never eat better 
cheese, and so I dare say he did not. I thank him I am as familiar 
with him, as with you; yea, God so moveth him towards me, that 
his desire is to have me come and dwell with him whensoever I will, 



and welcome. This do I write yet once more to occasion you to be 
thankful for me to the Lord, which by all means sheweth nothing 
but most high love to me'; and I again a very obstinate rebel. Pray 
therefore for me, in haste. 

The sinful, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 16.* 



To his godly Friends, G. and N., encouraging them to prepare 
themselves to the Cross, and patiently to endure afflictions 
for God's Cause and his Holy Gospel. 



THE God of all mercies and the father of all consolation, shew 
unto you more and more the riches of his mercies in Christ Jesus 
our Lord, and grant you a lively faith to apprehend and pull unto 
yourselves the same, to your everlasting comfort. Amen. 

Because my mind will not let me rest to think upon, and as it 
were to see some storms like to fall more fully than any yet we have 
felt, 1 should rather say ye have felt, and are like to feel, if ye 
continue to confess Christianity, as ye have begun ; I thought it my 
\iuty to admonish you, that therefore ye should not be dismayed and 
think it any strange thing. 

For undoubtedly, you confessing Christ according to the truth 
taught you, yea received of you, though trouble come, the same shall 
be so far from hurting you, that it shall profit you exceedingly; 
making you thereby like to him which for your sakes, suffered much 
greater sorrow than all men can sustain ; as well that your sorrows 
and afflictions, whatsoever they be that shall come unto you, should 
be sanctified in his cross, and that which he suffered ; as also that 



* Cov. 363, 



48 

in him ye might have both example how to order yourselves in the 
cross, and how soon, shortly, and gloriously the end of your cross 
will be. Therefore, I say, be not dismayed in that the cross cannot 
but conform and make us like unto Christ, not simply of itself, but 
by God's spirit, which maketh it his chief mean thereto; first in 
putting us in mind of our corruption received of Adam, the cause of 
all care ; then by occasioning us to remember as well our privy hid 
sins, as also our more manifest evils ; that we therethrough might be 
provoked to repentance and asking of mercy, the which undoubtedly 
God will give us for his Christ's sake, and thereto also his holy 
spirit to sanctify us, if we ask the same. 

Now this spirit will not cease, more and more both to mortify the 
old man with his desires, and also to renew and repair the new man 
daily, with augmentation and increase; so that at length we shall be 
made so like to Christ that we cannot but be coupled unto him ; I 
mean not by faith as now we be, but even in deed, leaving here 
behind us, with Elias, our cloak the flesh, which God one day will 
call and quicken again, to be like unto the glorious and immortal body 
of his son JesusChrist our Lord, after that it hath suffered and slept as 
his hath done, the afflictions and time which God hath already 
appointed. 

My dear brethren and sisters, this is most certain that the afflic- 
tions and crosses which ye shall suffer, God hath already appointed 
for you, so that they are not in the power, choice, and will of your 
and his enemies. If ye would fly them ye cannot, but will ye, nill 
ye, needs must ye have them. If ye will not carry them in the love 
of God, ye shall carry them in his displeasure. Therefore cast your 
care on him who careth for you, and hath counted all the hairs of 
your heads, so that one shall not perish, if that ye commit yourselves 
to his ordering; wherelse your heads and bodies, yea souls too shall 
perish, if that ye withdraw yourselves as unwilling to take his cup 
and to drink of it. 

Not that I would have yon to thrust yourselves, headlong and 
rashly, to take or pull unto you trouble; or that 1 would not have you 
to use such honest and lawful means, as ye may in the fear of God 
and with good conscience, to avoid the cross and give place to evil; 
but that I would have you xvilling to put forth your band to take it, 



49 



when God offereth it, in such sort as with good conscience ye cannot 
escape. Then take it, kiss it, and thank God for it ; for it is even 
a very sacrament that God loveth you, as he saith, whom I love, them 
do I chastise. And if ye he not partakers of correction, surely ye 
are no children; but if he once chastise you, if that ye kiss the rod, 
verily he will cast the rod into the fire, and call you and kiss you as 
the mother doth her child, when she perceiveth the child, to take in 
good part the correction. But why do I compare God your Father's 
love, to a mother, in that it far passeth it. For saith he, though it 
he possible that a natural mother should forget the child of her womb, 
yet will not I forget thee, saith the Lord, our good God and Father, 
through Christ. Though he seem angry towards evening, yet in the 
morning we shall find him well pleased, if in Christ we come to him, 
and cry, Abba ! dear Father ! help us, and as thou hast promised, 
tempt us not further than thou wilt make us able to bear. 

Therefore, my dear hearts in the Lord, be of good comfort, be of 
good comfort in the Lord. Confess him and his truth and fear not 
prison, loss of goods or life. Fear rather that prison, out of the 
which there is no deliverance; fear rather the loss of those goods 
which last for ever; fear rather the loss of the life which is eternal, 
whereunto ye are called, and the way by which God will bring you 
to it, in that ye certainly know not whether it will be by prison, fire, 
halter, &c. whensoever these come, as I said before, let them not 
dismay you, nor seem strange to you. For no small number of God's 
children are gone that way, and we are a good company here 
together, which are ready to follow the same way through God's 
grace, if God so will. 

I beseech you make you ready, and go with us ; or rather be 
ready that when we come, we may go with you. The journey is but 
short, though it be unpleasant to the flesh. Perchance if we should 
die in our beds on a corporal malady, it would be much longer and 
also more painful ; at the least in God's sight it cannot be so precious 
and gainful, as I know this kind of death is; whereto I exhort you 
to prepare yourselves, mine own dear hearts in the bowels and blood 
of our Saviour Jesus Christ, to whose tuition, grace, governance, and 
protection, I heartily commend you all, and beseech you that ye 



50 

would do the like unto me in your hearty prayers. Out of the Tower 
of London, 1554. 

By your own, to live in the Lord for ever, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 17.* 

TO CERTAIN GODLY PERSONS TO THE 
SAME EFFECT.t 



Gracious God, and most merciful father, for Jesus Christ's sake, 
thy dearly beloved son, grant us thy mercy, grace, wisdom, and 
holy spirit, to counsel, comfort, and guide us in all our cogitations, 
words, and works, to thy glory, and our everlasting joy and peace, 
for ever. Amen. 

In my last letter, ye might perceive my conjecturing to be no less 
towards you, than now 1 have partly learned. But my dearly be- 
loved, I have learned none other thing than before I have told you 
would come to pass, if ye cast not away that which I am sure ye have 
learned. I appeal to both your consciences, whether herein I speak 
truth, as well of my telling, though not so often as I might and 
should, God forgive me, as also of your learning. 

Now God will try you, to make others to learn by you that which 
ye have learned by others, and by them which suffered this day,J 
ye might learn, if already ye had not learned, that life and honour is 
not to be set by, more than God's commandment. They in no point, 
for all that ever their ghostly fathers could do, having Dr. Death to 
take their part, would consent or seem to consent to the popish mass 



* Fox iii. 334. Cov. 366. t Most probably to the same individuals as the last. 

$ The Lady Jane Grey, and her husband the Lord Guildford, were beheaded that day, 

viz. Feb. 12, 1554. Cov. 367. Burnett vol. u. 424. 




51 

and papistical God, otherwise than in the days of our late king,* 
they had received ; and this their faith they confessed with their deaths, 
to their great glory and all our comforts, if we follow them; but to 
our confusion, if we start back from the same. 

Wherefore I beseech you both to consider it, as well to praise God 
for them, as to go the same way with them if God so will. Consider 
not the things of this life, which is a very prison to all God's chil- 
dren; but the things of everlasting life, which is our very home. 
But to the beholding of this gear ye must open the eyes of your mind, 
of faith I should have said as Moses did, which set more by trouble 
with God's people, than by the riches of Egypt and Pharaoh's court. 
Your house, home, and goods, yea life and all that ever ye have, 
God hath given to you as love tokens, to admonish you of his love, 
and to win your love to him again. Now will he try your love, 
whether ye set more by him than by his tokens or no. If ye for his 
tokens' sake, that is, for your home, house, goods, yea life, will go 
with the world lest ye should lose them; then be assured, your love, 
as he cannot but espy it to be a strumpet's love, so will he cast it away 
with the world. Remember that he which will save his life, shall lose 
it, if Christ be true; but he which adventureth, yea loseth his life for 
the gospel's sake, the same shall be sure to find it eternally. Do not 
ye both know that the way to salvation is not the broad way which 
many run in, but the strait way which few now walk in? 

Before persecution came, men might partly have stood in doubt, 
by the outward state of the world with us, although by God's word it 
was plain, whether was the high way, for there were as many pre- 
tended the gospel as popery; but now the sun is risen, and the wind 
bloweth, so that the corn which hath not taken fast root cannot nor 
will not abide ; and therefore easily ye may see the strait way by the 
small number that passeth through it. Who will now adventure their 
goods and life for Christ's sake, who yet gave his life for our sakes? 
We now are Gergesites, that would rather lose Christ than our porkets. 
A faithful wife is never tried so to be, but when she rejecteth and 
withstandeth wooers. A faithful Christian is then found so to be, when 
his faith is assaulted. 

* Edward VI. 



52 

If we be not able, I mean if we will not forsake tbis world for 
God's glory and gosp( !'s sake, trow ye that God will make us able 
or give us a will to forsake it for nature's sake? Die ye must once, 
and leave all ye have, God knoweth how soon and when, will ye or 
will ye not. And seeing- perforce ye must do this, will ye not wil- 
lingly now do it for God's sake ? 

If ye go to mass and do as the most part doth, then may ye live at 
rest and quietly ; but if ye deny to go to it, then shall ye go to prison, 
lose your goods, leave your children comfortless, yea lose your life 
also. But my dearly beloved, open the eyes of your faith, and see 
how short a thing this life is, even a very shadow and smoke. Again, 
see how intolerable the punishment of hell fire is, and that endless. 
Last of all look on the joys incomprehensible, which God hath pre- 
pared for all them, world without end, -which love either lands or 
goods for his name's sake. And then do ye reason thus ; if we go to 
mass the greatest enemy that Christ hath, though for a little time we 
shall live in quiet, and leave to our children that they may live here- 
after; yet shall we displease God, fall into his hands, which is horrible 
to hypocrites, and be in wonderful hazard of falling down from 
eternal joy into eternal misery, first of soul and then of body, with 
the devil and all idolaters. 

Again, we shall want peace of conscience, which surmounteth all 
the riches of the world, and for our children, who knoweth whether 
God will visit our idolatry on them in this life; yea our home and 
goods are in danger of losing, as our lives be, through many casual- 
ties, and when God is angry with us, lie can send always when he 
will, one mean or another to take all from us for our sins, and to cast 
us into care for our own sakes, which will not come into some little 
trouble for his sake. 

On this sort reason with yourselves, and then doubtless God will 
work otherwise with you and in you, than ye are aware of. Where 
now ye think yourselves unable to abide persecution, be most assured, 
if so be ye purpose not to forsake God, that God will make you able 
to bear his cross, that therein ye shall rejoice. Faithful is God, saith 
Paul, who will not tempt you' further than he will make you able to 
bear, yea he will give you an outscape in the cross, which shall be to 
your comfort. Think how great a benefit it is, if God will vouch you 



53 

worthy this honour to suffer loss of any thing* for his sake. He might 
justly cast most grievous plagues upon you, and now he will correct 
you with that rod whereby you shall be made like to his Christ, that 
for ever ye may reign with him. 

Suffer yourselves therefore now to be made like to Christ, for else 
ye shall never be made like unto him. The devil would gladly 
have you now to overthrow, that which godly ye have of long pro- 
fessed. Oh how would he triumph if he could win his purpose? 
Oh how would the papists triumph against God's gospel in you? 
Oh how would you confirm them in their wicked popery ? Oh how 
would the poor children of God be discomforted, if now ye should go 
to mass and other idolatrous service, and do as the world doth ? 

Hath God delivered you from the sweat to serve him so ? Hath 
God miraculously restored yon to health from your grievous agues 
for such a purpose? Hath God given you such blessings in this 
world and good things all the days of your life hitherto; and now of 
equity will ye not receive at his hands and for his sake some evil? 
God forbid, 1 hope better of you. Use prayer, and cast your care 
upon God ; commit your children into his hands; give to God your 
goods, bodies and lives, as he hath given them, or rather lent them 
unto you. Say with Job, God hath given and God hath taken away, 
his name be praised for ever. Cast your care upon him, I say, for he 
is careful for you ; and take it amongst the greatest blessings of God 
to suffer for his sake. I trust he hath kept you hitherto to that end. 

And I beseech thee, O merciful Father, for Jesus Christ's sake, 
that thou vvouldest be merciful unto us, comfort us with thy grace, 
and strengthen us in thy truth, that in heart we may believe, and 
in tongue boldly confess thy gospel, to thy glory and our eternal 
salvation. Amen. Pray for me, and I by God's grace will do the 
same for you. 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



54 

No. 18.* 

TO THE SAME PERSONS. 



GOD'S mercy in Christ I wish yon to feel, my dear brother, with 
my faithful sister yonr wife now and for ever. Amen. 

Having tins occasion, I could not hut write something, as well 
to put myself in remembrance of my duty to god wards for you both, 
in thankfulness and prayer, as to put you in remembrance of me and 
your duty towards God for me, in praying for me ; I dare not say in 
thankfulness for me; not that I would have you to give no thanks to 
God for his wonderful great and sweet mercies towards me and upon 
me in Christ his Son ; but because I have not deserved it at either of 
your hands. For ye both know right well, at least my conscience 
doth accuse me, how that 1 have not only not exhorted and tanght 
you, as both my vocation and your deserts required, to walk worthy 
of that vocation which God hath made you worthy of; and with 
trembling and fear to work out your salvation, that is in the fear of 
God to give yourselves to great vigilance in prayer for the increase 
of faith, and to a wary circumspection in all your conversation, not 
only in works and words, but also, in thoughts ; because God is a 
searcher of the heart, and out of the heart it cometh that defileth as 
in God's sight. I have, I say, not only not done this, but also have 
given you example of negligence in prayer, watching, fasting, 
telling and doing, so that woe to me for <. iving you such offence. 

Partly for this cause, dear brother and sister, God hath cast me 
and keepeth me sure, that I might repent me and turn to him, and 
that ye might also by this correction upon me, be more diligent to 
redress these things and others, if they in your conscience do accuse 
you. 

My dearly beloved, heavy is God's anger fallen upon us all; 
doleful is the day. Now hath Anti-Christ all his power again, now 
is Christ's gospel trod under foot, now is God's people a derision and 

Cov. 370. 



55 

at prey for the wicked. Now is the greatest plague of all plagues 
fallen, the want of God's word ; and all these we have, yea I alone, 
have justly deserved. Oh that as I write, 1 alone, 1 could with 
David, and with Jonas, in heart say so. But 1 do not, I do not, I see 
not how grievously I have sinned, and how great a misery is fallen 
for mine unthankfulness for God's word, for mine hypocrisy in pro- 
fessing, preaching, hearing, and speaking of God's word, for my not 
praying to God for the continuance of it, for my not living of it 
thoroughly as it requireth, &c. 

I will speak nothing of my manifest evils, for they are known to 
you well enough. Dear brother and sister, with me say ye the like, 
for your own parts; and with me join your hearts, and let us go to 
our heavenly Father, and for his Christ's sake beseech him to be 
merciful unto us and to pardon us. Oh, good Father, it is'we that 
have deserved the taking away of thy word, it is we that have 
deserved these thy just plagues fallen upon us, we have done amiss, 
we have dealt unjustly with thy gospel, we have procured thy wrath, 
and therefore just art thou in punishing us, just art thou in plaguing 
us, for we are very miserable. 

But good Lord and dear Father of mercy, whose justice is such 
that you will not punish the poor souls of this realm, which yet have 
not thus sinned against thee as we have done, for many yet never 
heard thy word, for our trespasses; and whose mercy is so great that 
thou wilt put our iniquities out of thy remembrance for thy Christ's 
sake, if we repent and believe ; grant us we beseech thee true repen- 
tance and faith, that we having obtained pardon for our sins, may 
through thy Christ, get deliverance from the tyranny of Anti-Christ 
now oppressing us. 

Oh, good Father, which hast said that the sceptre of the wicked 
should not long He upon and over the just, lest they put forth their 
hands to iniquity also; make us just, we pray thee in Christ's name, 
and cut asunder the cords of them that hate Sion ; let not the wicked 
people say where is there God? Thou, our God, art in heaven; 
and doest whatsoever it pleaseth thee upon earth. Oh, that thoa 
wouldest, in the mean whiles, before thou do deliver us, that, I say, 
thou wouldest open our eyes to see all these plagues to come from 
thee, and all other that shall come whatsoever they be, publick or 



56 

private, that they com< not by chance nor by fortune, but that they 
come even from thy hand, and that justly and mercifully ; justly 
because we have and do deserve them, not only by our birth poison, 
still sticking and working in us, but also by our former evil life past, 
which by this punishment and all other punishments, thoa wouldest 
have us to call to our remembrance and to set before us, that tliou 
mightest put them from before thee ; whereas they stand, so long as 
they are not in our remembrance, to put them away by repentance. 

Mercifully, O Lord God, dost thou punish, in that thou dost not 
correct to kill, but to amend, that we might repent our sins, ask 
mercy, obtain it freely in Christ, and to begin to suffer for righteous- 
ness' sake; to be part of thy house, whereat thy judgment beginneth; 
to be partakers of the afflictions of thy Church and thy Christ, that 
we might be partakers of the glory of the same. To weep here, 
that we might rejoice elsewhere; to be judged in this world that we 
might with thy saints judge hereafter the world ; to suffer with 
Christ, that we might reign with him ; to be like to Christ in shame, 
that we might be like to him in glory; to receive our evils here, that 
we might with poor Lazarus find rest elsewhere ; rest, I say, and 
such a rest as the eye hath not seen, the ear hath not heard, nor the 
heart of man is able to conceive. 

Oh, that our eyes were open to see this ; that the cross cometh 
from thee to declare thy justice and thy mercy, and hereto that we 
might see how short a time the time of suffering is ; how long a time 
the time of rejoicing is to them that suffer here; but to them that 
will not, how long and miserable a time is appointed and prepared ; 
a time without time in eternal woe and perdition, too horrible to be 
thought upon. From the which keep us dear Father, and give more 
sight in soul to see this gear, and how that all thy dearest children 
have carried the cross of grievous afflictions in this life, in whose 
company do thou place us, and such a cross lay upon us as thou wilt 
make us able to bear, to thy glory and our salvation in Christ, for 
whose sake we pray thee to shorten the days of this our great 
misery fallen upon us most justly, and in the mean season give us 
patience, repentance, faith, and thy eternal consolation. Amen, 
Amen, Amen. 

And thus dear hearts, I have talked, methinks, a little while with 






57 

you, or rather we have all talked with God. Oh that God would 
give us his spirit of grace and prayer. My dearly beloved, pray for 
it, as for yourselves so for me, and that God would vouchsafe to 
make me worthy to suffer with a good conscience for his name's 
sake. Pray for me, and I shall do the like for you. This 20 of 
December, from him whom by this bringer ye shall learn. I pray 
you give my commendations to all that love me in the Lord. Be 
merry in Christ, for one day in heaven we shall meet and rejoice 
together for evermore. Amen. 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



THIS persecuted martyr remained in the 
Tower till the following Easter Eve, when 
he was sent to the King's Bench Prison, in 
Southwark.* With the keeper of this prison 
he was in such good credit that he was per- 
mitted to go into London in the evenings, in 
order to visit a sick person in the Steel-yard f 1 
whenever he pleased, and that without a 
keeper, upon his own promise to return before 
the hour appointed. And once during the 
summer time the same keeper gave him per- 
mission to ride into Oxfordshire, in order to 
visit a merchant of his acquaintance who 
resided there ; and a horse and other pre- 
parations, and a companion for the journey 
were provided, but he was prevented from 
going by illness. 

* See Appendix, Note (G). t In Thames Street. 

i 



58 

By the kindness of the same individual, 
another privilege, which in their circum- 
stances must have been invaluable, was 
granted to Bradford, and the martyr Lawrence 
Saunders, who was at the same time confined 
in the Marshalsea. The backs of the two 
prisons joined together, where they were 
permitted to meet and confer at their own 
pleasure, and might have easily made their 
escape if they had been inclined ; but as to 
which, Bradford was so indifferent, that when 
one of his old friends and acquaintance came 
and asked him what he would do, and where 
he would go if he petitioned for his liberty ; he 
replied, that it was a matter of little anxiety 
to him whether he went out or not ; but that 
if he did he would marry, and remain still in 
England, and spend his time in teaching the 
people as opportunities might offer. 

Farrar,* Bishop of St. Davids, who had 
been a prisoner in the King's Bench, being 
strongly urged by the papists about the end 
of Lent, to consent to receive the sacrament 
at the ensuing Easter in one kind only, after 
much persuasion had yielded to their solicita- 
tions. It was so ordered by divine providence, 
that on Easter Even, the day before the bishop 

* See Appendix, Note (H). 



59 

was to have made this sacrifice of principle, 
Bradford was brought into the prison, when 
he was made the instrument of rescuing the 
prelate from his threatened disgrace; who 
immediately revoked his promise, and ever 
afterwards steadily refused to contaminate 
himself with any of the errors of the Church 
of Rome. So effectually did it please God to 
work by this holy martyr ; and such an in- 
strument was he in the Church of Christ, 
that few knew him who did not esteem him as 
a precious jewel, and a true minister of the 
gospel. 

The following letters appear to have been 
written at this period: 

No. 19.* 

TO THE HONOURABLE LORD RUSSELL, 

Now Earl of Bedford, being then in Trouble for the Verity of 
God's Gospel. 



THE everlasting and most gracious God and Father of our 
Saviour Jesu Christ, bless your good lordship, with all manner of 
heavenly blessings, in the same Christ our only comfort and hope. 
Amen. 

Praised be God our father which hath vouched you worthy, as 
of faith in his Christ, so of his cross for the same. Magnified be his 

* Fox iii. 321. Cov. 275. and se No. 11. 



60 

holy name, who as he hath delivered you from one cross, so he hath 
made you willing 1 , I trust, and ready to bear another, when he shall 
see his time to lay it upon you. For these are the most singular 
gifts of God, given as to few, so to none else but to those few, which 
are most dear in his sight. 

Faith is reckoned, and worthily, among the greatest gifts of God, 
yea it is the greatest itself that we enjoy, for by it, as we be justified 
and made God's children, so are we temples and possessors of the 
holy spirit, yea of Christ also, Ephes. iv. and of the father himself, 
John xiv. By faith we drive the devil away, 1 Pet. v. 9. we over- 
come the world, 1 John, v. 4. and are already citizens of heaven and 
fellows with God's dear saints. 

But who is able to reckon the riches that this faith bringeth with 
her unto the soul she sitteth upon? No man, nor angel. And 
therefore, as I said, of all God's gifts, she may be set in the top, and 
have the uppermost seat. The which thing if then considered, in 
that she cometh alonely from God's own mercy seat, by the hearing, 
not of mass or mattins, diriges, or such draffe ; but of the word of 
God, in such a tongue as we can and do understand, as they would 
be diligent and take great heed for doing or seeing any thing which 
might cast her down, for then they fall also ; so would they with 
no less care, read and hear Gci's holy word, joining thereto most 
earnest and often prayer, as well for the more and better under- 
standing, as for the loving, living, and confessing of the same, 
maugre the head of the devii, the world, our flesh, reason, goods, 
possessions, carnal friends, wife, children, and very life here, if they 
should pull us back to hearken to their voice and counsel, for more 
quiet, sure, and longer use of them. 

Now, notwithstanding this excellency of faith, in that we read 
the apostle to match therewith, yea, as it were, to prefer suffering 
persecution for Christ's sake, Phil, i., I trow no man will be so fond 
as to think otherwise, but that I and all God's children have cause 
to glorify and praise God, who hath vouchsafed you worthy so great 
a blessing. For though the reason or wisdom of the world, think of 
the cross according to their reach, and according to their present 
sense, and therefore fly from it as from a most great ignominy and 
shame ; yet God's scholars have learned otherwise to think of the 



61 

cross, that it is the frame house, in the which God frameth his 
children like to his son Christ; the furnace that lineth God's gold; 
the high way to heaven ; the suit and livery that God's servants are 
served withal; and the earnest beginning of all consolation and glory. 

For they, I mean God's scholars, as your lordship is I trust, do 
enter into God's sanctuary, lest their feet slip. They look not, as 
beasts do, on things present only, but on things to come, and so have 
they as present to faith, the judgment and glorious coming of Christ ; 
like as the wicked have now their worldly wealth wherein they 
wallow, and will wallow, till they tumble headlong into hell ; where 
are torments too terrible and endless. Now they follow the fiend 
as the bear doth the train of honey, and the sow the swillings, till 
they be brought into the slaughter-house, and then they know that 
their prosperity hath brought them to perdition. Then cry they, 
Woe, Woe, we went the wrong way ; we counted these men, I mean 
such as you be, that suffer for God's sake, loss of goods, friends and 
life, whom they shall see endued with rich robes of righteousness, 
crowns of most pure precious gold, and palms of conquest in the goodly 
glorious palace of the lamb, where is eternal joy, felicity, &c., we 
counted, will they then say, these men but fools and mad men; we 
took their conditions to be but curiosity &c. But then will it be too 
late, then the time will be turned, laughing shall be turned into 
weeping, and weeping into rejoicing. Read Wisdom ii. iii. iv. v. 

Therefore, as before I have said, great cause have I to thank God 
which hath vouched you worthy of this most bountiful blessing; 
much more then you have cause, my good lord, so to be, I mean 
thankful. For look upon your vocation, 1 pray you, and tell me 
how many noblemen, earl's sons, lords, knights, and men of estima- 
tion, hath God in this realm of England dealt thus withal ? I dare 
say you think not that you have deserved this. Only God's mercy 
in his Christ hath wrought this on you, as he did in Jeremiah's time 
on Abimelech, in Ahab's time on Obadiah, in Christ's time on 
Joseph of Arimathea, in the apostles time on Sergius Paulus, and 
the Queen of Ethiopia's chamberlain. 

Only now be thankful and continue, continue, continue, my 
good lord, continue to confess Christ. Be not ashamed of him before 
men, for then will not he be ashamed of you. Now will he try you; 



62 

stick fast nnto him and he will stick fast by you ; he will be with 
yon in trouble and deliver you. But then must you cry unto him, 
for so it proceedeth ; he cried unto me and I heard ; I was with him 
in trouble &c. 

Remember Lot's wife which looked back ; remember Francis 
Spira ;* remember that none is crowned, but he that striveth law- 
fully. Remember that all you have is at Christ's commandment. 
Remember he lost more for you than you can lose for him. Remem- 
ber you love not that which is lost for his sake, for you shall find 
much more here and elsewhere. Remember you shall die, and 
when, where, and how, you cannot tell. Remember the death of 
sinners is most terrible. Remember the death of God's saints is 
precious in his sight. Remember the multitude goeth the wide way, 
which windeth to woe. Remember that the strait gate, which 
leadeth to glory, hath but few travellers. Remember Christ biddeth 
you strive to enter in thereat. Remember he that trusteth in the 
Lord, shall receive strength to stand against all the assaults of his 
enemies. 

Be certain all the hairs of your head are numbered. Be certain 
your good father hath appointed bounds, over the which the devil 
dare not look. Commit yourself to him ; he is, hath been, and will 
be your keeper ; cast your care on him and he will care for you. Let 
Christ be your scope and mark to prick at ; let him be your pattern 
to walk by; let him be your example to follow; give him as your 
heart so your hand ; as your mind so your tongue ; as your faith so 
your feet ; and let his word be your candle to go before you, in all 
matters of religion. 

Blessed is he that walketh not to these popish prayers, nor 
standeth at them, nor sitteth at them ; glorify God in both soul and 
body. He that gathereth not with Christ scattereth abroad. Use 
prayer, look for God's help, which is at hand to them that ask and 
hope thereafter assuredly, [n which prayer I heartily desire your 
lordship to remember us, who as we are going with you right gladly, 
God therefore be praised, so we look to go before you, hoping that 
you will follow, if God so will, according to your daily prayer ; thy 

* See Appendix, Note (L) 



63 



will be done on earth, &c. The good spirit of God always guide 
your lordship unto the end. Amen. 

Your lordship's own for ever, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 20*. 
TO THE LORD RUSSELL. 



THE eternal mercies of God in his dear son, our saviour Jesus 
Christ, be more and more felt, and heartily perceived of you, my 
good lord, to your endless joy and comfort. Amen. 

Because your lordship looketh not for thanks of me, for God's 
benefits ministered by you ; and in few words I cannot duly declare 
that I would do, I will omit the same; praying God, our dear father, 
in the day of his retribution, to remember it ; and in the mean 
season to assist, counsel, and comfort you, as his child for ever in all 
things. 

I doubt not but that you have that childlike opinion, yea persua- 
sion of his goodness in Christ towards you; than which blessing, my 
good lord, none is greater given to man upon earth. For assuredly 
he that hath it, is the very child of God, elect before all time in 
Christ Jesu our Lord, and therefore shall enjoy everlasting felicity, 
although he be here afflicted and tossed in trouble and temptation to 
his trial, that when he is found faithful he may receive the crown of 
glory. 

The only thing that discerneth the child of God from the wicked, 
is this faith, trust, and hope, in God's goodness, through Christ ; 
the which I trust you have ; God increase it in you and make you 
thankful. Certainly such as enjoy, it be happy ; if they be happy, 
and that happiness is not where any thing is to be desired, they 

* Cov. 278. 



64 



cannot but for ever be most assured of perseverance to salvation, for 
if they fall, the Lord putteth under his hand that they shall not 
perish; they are beloved of Christ which loveth them to the very 
end. 

God for his mercy sake in Christ, open more and more your eyes 
to see this his sweetness in Christ, to make you secure in him, and 
awake the flesh from her security ; to be vigilant and heedful how 
you may most behave yourself, in thankful obedience to God, and 
careful help and service to his people ; that all your whole life may 
tend to this, how by example and otherwise you may do good to 
otheis, and still confirm his true service and religion by your con- 
stancy. Wherein if you continue to the end, you shall receive an 
incorruptible crown of immortal and unspeakable glory; but if for 
because of God's tarrying, which is only to prove you, you relent, 
which God forbid, thinking it enough in heart to serve God, and 
in body to do as may make most to your commodity temporally, as 
many do ; then undoubtedly your standing hitherto, wherefore God's 
holy name be praised, shall make much more for the papistical 
kingdom and glory thereof, than if you had never done as you have 
done. 

Whereof, my good Lord, be not weary nor unthankful, for with 
the godly, and in the Church of God, you are and shall be had, as a 
worthy member of Christ; worthy of double honour, because God of 
his goodness hath vouched you worthy without your deserts. In the 
one, that is for lands and possessions, you have companions many ; 
but in the other, my good Lord, you are, A per se Jl, with us to our 
comfort and joy unspeakable, so long as you continue, as I trust you 
will do to the end; and to our most heavy sorrow, which God 
forbid, if you should relent in any point. 

Therefore, I beseech your Lordship, in the bowels and blood of 
our Saviour Jesus Christ, to persevere and continue to the end. He 
that hath not tempted you hitherto above your strength, will con- 
tinue so to the end. If for a time he hide his face from you, yet he 
doth it but for a moment, to make you the more heartily to cry to 
him, and surely he will hear you ; not only when you are in crying, 
but also whilst you are in thinking how to cry ; he is with you in 
trouble and will indeed deliver you. The longer he tarrieth, the 



65 

more pleasantly and comfortably will he appear. Only believe and 
look for his help and you shall have peace, such peace as the world 
knoweth not, nor can know ; the which God give us a true feeling 
of, and then we shall not be grieved with afflictions, but rather 
rejoice in them, because they are but exercisos and trials of faith, to 
the increase of faith and patience, with many godly virtues, &c. 

As concerning the number and charges of us here, which this 
day I heard your lordship desired to understand, this is, so much as 
I know, that we are four in number together, whose names this 
bearer shall tell you ; the charges of the least is seven shillings a 
week. There are fire others, whose charges be not so great, but as 
they will themselves ; I mean they pay daily as they take, and that 
to the uttermost; these were never ministers. I trust there is no 
urgent need in any of us all, and, I think, least in myself, through 
God, my father's, providence, the which 1 have and do daily won- 
derfully feel, his name therefore be praised. 

Other things I would write, but because they may be more safely 
told by this bringer, I have omitted the same for that purpose. God 
of his goodness ever be with you and keep your lordship to the very 
end, as his dear child. Amen, Amen.* 

Your humble to command, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 21.t 



To certain Men, who maintained the heresy of the Pelagians and 
Papists concerning men's free will ; which, upon occasions, 
were then prisoners with him in the King's Bench. 



The good spirit of God, which is the spirit of truth, and guide 
to God's children, be with us all, and lead us into all truth. Amen. 



* See Appendix, Note (K.) f Cov. 650. 



66 

Hitherto 1 have oftentimes resorted unto yon, my friends as I 
thought, and by all means sought to do you good, even to mine own 
charges and hindrance. But now 1 see it happeneth otherwise ; and 
therefore I am purposed, till I may know more than I do, to absent 
mytelf from you, but not my help ; and by these letters to supply 
that, which by mouth patiently you cannot abide to hear. 

You report me to my face that I am a great slander to the church 
of God; which may be two ways understood, that is, by living and 
doctrine. But as for living, you yourselves, I thank God therefore, 
gave testimony with me. In doctrine therefore you mean it. 

Now, in that there be may parts of the doctrine of Christ, I trow 
you mean not generally, but particularly ; for you in generality have 
divers times given your commendations on my behalf, both to my 
face and behind my back ; for the which I humbly praise my God, 
through Christ. In particularity therefore, you mean that I am a 
slander ; -which, as far as I know, is only in this to youwards, thai 
I believe and affirm the salvation of God's children to be so certain, 
that they shall assuredly enjoy the same. 

You say it hangeth partly upon our perseverance to the end ; and 
I say it hangeth only and altogether upon God's grace in Christ, and 
not upon our perseverance in any point; for then were grace no 
grace. You will and do in words deny our perseverance to be any 
cause, but yet in deed you do otherwise. For if perseverance be not 
a cause, but only God's grace in Christ, the whole and only cause of 
salvation ; then the cause, that is to say, grace remaining, the thing, 
that is to say, salvation, cannot but remain also. 

Of which thing, if with the scriptures you would make per- 
severance an effect or fruit, then could you not be offended at the 
truth ; but say as it saith, that the salvation of God's children is so 
certain, that they shall never finally perish, the Lord putting his 
hand under them, that if they fall, yet they shall not lie still. For 
whom he loveth he leaveth not, but loveth them unto the end. So 
that perseverance is proper to them, and doth discern them from 
hypocrites, and such as seem to other, and to themselves also some- 
times, that they be God's children. 

Which if they once were in deed, then as St. John saith, they 
should not sin the sin to death ; neither should they go out of God's 



67 



church, but as Paul saith, should persevere to the end. Now to be 
God's child, is no less, in all points above the power of man ; than 
to be man's child, is above our own power; but so much it passeth 
our ability in all points to be God's child, by how much this dignity 
is greater. 

Again, once God's child indeed, and God's child for ever; that is, 
finally shall not he that is so, perish eternally, if that, God our father 
be both of good will infinite, and also of power accordingly; and 
that the seed of God which remaineth in his children, can keep 
them from sinning, I mean to death, for otherwise they sin ; and 
therefore pray daily, forgive us our debts, &c. 

Moreover, God's children be under grace, and not under the law, 
and therefore sin shall not damn them. For where no law is, there 
is no transgression, transgression I say to final damnation, for the 
new covenant of God is, never to remember their sins, but to give 
them such hearts and minds, that, as they naturally lust and labour 
to do that is evil ; so their inward man renewed striveth to the con- 
trary, and at the length shall prevail ; because HE is stronger that 
is in them, than he that is in the world. And St. Paul saith, who 
shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect, in that God absolveth 
them for Christ's sake, of whom they are kept ? So that it is not 
possible for them to perish, in respect of their pastor, who is faithful 
over God's people. 

This certainty and assurance, whoso feeleth in himself, by the 
testimony of God's spirit, indeed and of truth, the same is happy for 
ever, and cannot but, as he hopeth he shall be like to Christ in his 
coming, so desire it, and purifying himself in all purity, so far 
will he be from carnal liberty; and as the elect of God, he will 
endue and apparel himself daily with the apparel of the elect, 
using prayer night and day, which is another property of God's 
children. 

To this certainty, all the creatures of God call us, concerning 
their creation and use. This assurance, God's first commandment 
requireth, under pain of damnation ; the gospel of God and all his 
promises ; the sacraments and the substance of them, which is Christ 
Jesus, our Saviour, do above all things, require it of every one that 
is baptised, and brought into God's church. Nothing* else doth 



68 

GOD so require of us, us thus to be persuaded of him, for out of it 
floweth all godliness to God and man. 

So that it cannot be but they take Satan's part; which go about 
to let or hinder this certainty, in themselves and in others. The 
which thing, in that you do indeed, howsoever you mean; I cannot 
but as I have done often before, admonish you of it eftsoons, that 
your bloods may be on your own heads, if you persevere in your 
obstinacy, and that you do it obstinately and not ignorantly. From 
the which I beseech Almighty God to deliver you. Amen. 

1 January. JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 22.* 



TO CERTAIN MEN, 

Not rightly persuaded in the most true, comfortable, and necessary 
Doctrine of God's Holy Election and Predestination. 



GRACE, mercy, and peace, with increase of all godly knowledge 
and living, from God the eternal father of all consolation, through 
the bloody death of our alone and full redeemer Jesus Christ, by the 
mighty and lively working and power of the holy spirit the com- 
forter, I wish unto you now and for ever. Amen. 

Although I look hourly for officers to come and have me to 
execution, yet can I not but attempt to write something unto you, 
my dearly beloved, as always you have been howsoever you have 
taken me, to occasion you the more to weigh the things wherein 
some controversy hath been amongst us, especially the article and 
doctrine of predestination, whereof I have written a little treatise ; 
therein, as briefly shewing my faith, so answering the enormities 

Cov. 471. 



gathered of some, to slander the same necessary and comfortable 
doctrine. That little piece of work I commend unto you, as a thing 
whereof I doubt not to answer to my comfort, before the tribunal 
seat of Jesus Christ ; and therefore I heartily pray you and every of 
you, for the tender mercies of God in Christ, that you would not be 
rash to condemn things unknown, lest God's woe should fall upon 
you, for calling good evil and evil good. 

For the great love of God in Christ, cavil not at things that be 
well spoken, nor construe not things to the evil part, when ye have 
occasion otherwise. Do not suppose that any man, by affirming 
predestination, as in that book I have truly set it forth according to 
God's word, and the consent of Christ's church, either to seek 
carnality, or to set forth matter of desperation. Only by the doctrine 
of it, I have taught, as to myself, so to others, a certainty of salva- 
tion; a setting up of Christ only; an exaltation of God's grace, 
mercy, righteousness, truth, wisdom, power and glory, and a casting 
down of man and all his power, that he that glorieth may glory only 
and altogether, and continually in the Lord. 

Man consisteth of* two parts, the soul and the body, and every 
man of God hath, as a man would say, two men, an outward or old 
man, and an inward or new man. The devil's drift is, to bring the 
one into a carnality, and the other into a doubt ; and so to despair, 
and hatred of God ; but God for remedy hereof, hath ordained his 
word ; which is divided into two parts ; the one is a doctrine which 
demandeth of us our duty, but giveth no power thereto; the other 
is a doctrine which not so much demandeth as giveth. The former 
is called the law, which hath his promises, conditionals, and com- 
minations or threats, accordingly ; the other is called the gospel, or 
rather the free promises hanging not on conditions on our behalf, 
but simply on God's verity and mercy, although they require con- 
ditions, but not as hanging thereon ; of which promises the gospel 
may well be called a publication. 

The former, that is, the law with her promises and commi na- 
tions, tells man what he is, and shews him what he can do ; the latter, 
that is, the gospel and free promises, tell and set forth Christ, and 



On. 



70 

what mercy at God's hand through Christ, we have offered and given 
unto us. The former part serveth to keep the old man from car- 
nality and security, and to stir him up to diligence and solicitude; the 
latter part serveth how to keep the ne\v and inward man from 
doubting and despair, and to bring us : into an assured certainty and 
quietness with God, through Christ. 

The old man* and the field he resteth in, may not be sown 
with any other seed than is agreeable to the former doctrine ; the 
new man and the field he resteth in, may not be sown with any 
other, than is agreeing to the latter doctrine. By this means man 
shall be kept from carnality, and from desperation also, and brought 
into diligence and godly peace of conscience. It is forbidden in the 
old lav/, to sow two kinds of seeds in one field, to wear linsey wolsey 
petticoats, or to eat beasts that did not cleave the hoofs. God grant us 
to be wise husbandmen, to sow according as I hare said ; God grant 
us to be wise tailors, to cut our coats for two men of one whole cloth, 
as is declared. God grant us to be clean beasts, to cleave the hoofs 
accordingly, that is, to give the old man meat, meet for the mowers, 
that is, the law with the appurtenances, conditionals, promises, and 
commi nations; and to give to the new man the gospel, and sweet 
free promises, as appertaineth ; and then doubtless we shall walk in 
the right high way unto eternal life, that is in Christ Jesu, the end 
of the law and the fulfilling of the promises, in whom they be yea 
and, Amen. 

If this my poor advice be observed, my dear brethren in the 
Lord, 1 doubt not but all controversies, for predestination, original 
sin, free will, &c. shall so cease, that there shall be no breach of love, 
nor suspicion amongst f us; which God grant for his mercy's sake. 
I am persuaded of you, that you fear the Lord, and therefore 1 love 
you, and have loved you in him, my dear hearts, though otherwise 
you have taken it without cause on my part given, so far as 1 know. 
For hitherto I have not suffered any copy of the treatise above 
specified to go abroad, because I would suppress all occasions so far 
as might be. 



* See this subject pursued and more fully illustrated in No. 25. 
t Emonges. 



71 

Now am I going before you to my God and your God, to my 
father and your father, to my Christ and your Christ, to my home 
and your home. I go before, but you shall come after, sooner or 
later. Howbeit I could not but before I go, signify thus much unto 
you, as I have done, that you might see my love, and thereby be 
occasioned to increase in love, and learn rather to bear than break. 

My poor and most dear sister to me that ever I had, with whom 
1 leave this letter, I commend unto you all and to every of you, 
beseeching you and heartily praying you in the bowels and blood 
of Jesus Christ, to care for her, as for one which is dear in God's 
sight, and one which loveth you all in God, and hath done, as I can 
and do bear her witness ; although in the point of predestination, 
it hath pleased God by my ministry, to open unto her his truth. 
Wherein as she is settled, and I trust in God, confirmed ; so if you 
cannot think with her therein as she doth, I heartily pray you, and 
as I can, in God's behalf charge you, that you molest her not, nor 
disquiet her, but let love abound, and therein contend who can go 
most before. I commend also unto you my good sister, M. C., 
making for her the like suit unto you all. 

All, dear hearts, be not faint hearted for these evil days, which 
are come to try us and purify us, that we may the more be partners 
of God's holiness; as to ourselves so to the world, we shall be better 
known. Continue to walk in the fear of the Lord, as ye have well 
begun. Keep yourselves pure, as I hope you do, from this rotten 
Romish, yea Anti-Christian religion. Reverently read God's word, 
thereto joining prayer; that as you hear, in reading, God speak unto 
you; so in praying, you may speak unto him. Labour after your 
callings to help other. As you have done, do still, and I pray God 
give you grace to continue, as I doubt not but he will, for his good- 
ness sake. At the length we shall meet together in Christ's kingdom, 
and there never part asunder, but praise the name of our good God 
and father, with the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, angels, arch- 
angels, and all the saints of God. 

Oh, joyful place, Oh, place of all places desired. My brethren, 
I think myself more happy than you, by how much I am now more 
near unto it. Elijah's chariot I hourly look for, to come and catch me 
up, My cloak, that is, my carcase, I shall leave behind me in ashes. 



72 

which 1 doubt not my Lord will raise np and restore to me again in 
the last day, glorified even like unto his own most glorious body. 

The portion of the good spirit which my father hath lent me, I 
wish, yea double and treble, unto you all. God the father of mercy, 
in the blood of his Christ, give to every of you, my dear hearts, in 
him, his blessing, and pour plentifully upon you his holy spirit, 
that you may increase in all godly knowledge and godliness, to your 
own comfort and the edification of many others. Amen. 

Yet once more I commend unto you my aforesaid most dear and 
beloved sister in the Lord ; who always be unto her a most loving 
father, spouse, and pastor. Amen, Amen. Out of prison, the 16th 
of Feb. 1554. 

Your own heart, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 23.* 



TO TREWE AND ABYNGTON, 

With other of their Company., Teachers and Maintainers of the 
error of man's free-will. 



YET once more.f beloved in the Lord, before pen and ink be 
utterly taken from me, as I look it to be this afternoon, I thought 
good to write unto you. because I stand in a doubt, whether at any 
time hereafter, I shall see or speak with you ; for within this seven- 
night my Lord Chancellor bad look for judgment. God knoweth I 
lie not, 1 never did bear you malice, nor sought the hindrance of any 
one of you, but your good both in soul and body, as when we shall 

* Cov. 474. 
t It seems probable that this letter was addressed to the same individuals as the last. 






73 



all appear together before God, I am certain you shall then know,* 
though now you doubt it, and that causeless, I am right well assured. 
For mine own conscience can and doth bear witness with me, that 
I never defrauded you or any of you, of the value of one penny or 
pennyworth of any thing ; but have sought, with that which hath 
been given, not only in common, but also unto me and to mine own 
use, discretion, and distribution ; to do you good. 

Therefore disdain not the good will of your lover in God ; and in 
hope that you will not, I have eftsones even now sent unto you thir- 
teen shillings and fourpence; if you need as much more, you shall 
have it, or any thing else I have, or can do for you. 

Though in some things f we agree riot, yet let love bear the bell 
away, and let us pray one for another, and be careful one for another; 
for I hope we be all Christ's. As you hope yourselves to pertain to 
him, so think of me ; and as you be his, so am I your's.J 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 244 
TO THE SAME. 



HE that seeketh not to hinder himself temporally, that he may 
further his brother in more need, the same wanteth true love. I have 
done, do, and will, except you refuse it, hinder myself this way that 



* Read 1 Cor. xiii. and compare these spirits with the spirit of humbleness, unity, 
and love, which here you see in this man of God, doing good even to his adversaries, 
and then judge of them and their doctrines. Cov. 475. 

t He meaneth concerning free will, original sin, predestination, &c. wherein they 
are plain pelagians and papists. Cov. 475. 

J At this letter, these men were so sore offended, because he said he had hindered 
himself to further them, as though he had thereby upbraided them ; that in displeasure 
they sent it to him again. Whereupon he wrote unto them that which follows. 
Cov. 475. 

Cov. 475. 



74 

I may further you, and indeed myself also that way, wherein I desire 
to be furthered. If I would seek mine own gains temporally, then 
could I have taken and used many portions of money, which have 
been given to me for mine own use.* I never minded to upbraid 
you; but that which I did write of my own hindrance, was that you 
might see I loved you, and sought your weale, as I doe, and will be 
glad to do it continually. The Lord, of mercy hath forgiven us all, 
wherefore henceforth let us rather bear than break. 

Your's in the Lord, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 25.* 



TO CERTAIN OF HIS FAITHFUL FRIENDS, 

Worthy of all Christians to be read, wherein is described a 
lively comparison between the old man and the new : also 
between the law and the gospel, containing much fruitful 
matter of divinity, necessary for Christian consciences to 
read and understand. 



A MAN that is regenerate and born of GOD, the which thing that 
every one of us be, our baptism, the sacrament of regeneration, doth 
require under pain of damnation, and therefore let every one of us, 
with the Virgin Mary, say; Be it unto me, O Lord, according to thy 
word, according to the sacrament of baptism, wherein thou hast 
declared our adoption; and let us lament the doubting hereof in us, 
striving against it, as we shall be made able of the Lord ; a man, 



* Though he distributed to them, amongst other prisoners there, not only that 
which was given in common, but also to his own use ; yet they suspected him of evil 
dealing. Thus do not they, in whom the love of God dwelleth. Cov. 476. 
t Fox 349. 






75 



I say, that is regenerate, consisteth of two men, as a man may say, 
namely of the old man, and of the new man. The old man is like 
to a mighty giant, such a one as was Goliah, for his truth is now 
perfect But the new man is like unto a little child, such a one as 
was David, for his birth is not perfect until the day of his general 
resurrection. 

The old man therefore is more strong, lusty, and stirring than is 
the new man, because the birth of the new man is begun now, and 
the old man is perfectly born. And as the old man is more stirring, 
lusty, and stronger than the new man ; so is the nature of him clean 
contrary to the nature of the new man, as being earthy and corrupt 
with satan's seed ; the nature of the new man being heavenly, and 
blessed with the celestial seed of God. So that one man, inasmuch 
as he is corrupt with the seed of the serpent, is an old man ; and 
inasmuch as he is blessed with the seed of God from above, he is a 
new man. And inasmuch as he is an old man, he is a sinner and an 
enemy to God ; so inasmuch as lie is regenerate, he is righteous and 
holy, and a friend to God, the seed of God preserving him from sin, 
so that he cannot sin; as the seed of the serpent, wherewith he is 
corrupt even from his conception, inclineth him, yea enforceth him 
to sin, and nothing else but to sin ; so that the best part in man 
before regeneration, in God's sight, is not only an enemy, but enmity 
itself. 

One man therefore which is regenerate, well may be called 
always just, and always sinful; just in respect of God's seed, and his 
regeneration; sinful in respect of satan's seed and his first birth. 
Betwixt these two men therefore there is continual conflict, and war 
most deadly. The flesh and old man, by reason of his birth that is 
perfect, doth often for a time prevail against the new man, being but 
a child in comparison, and that in such sort, as not only other, but 
even the children of God themselves, think that they be nothing else 
but old, and that the spirit and seed of God is lost and gone away ; 
where yet notwithstanding the truth is otherwise, the spirit and the 
seed of God at the length appearing again, and dispelling away the 
clouds which cover the sun of God's seed from shining, as the clouds 
in the air do the corporal sun ; so that sometimes a man cannot tell 
by any sense, that there is any sun, the clouds and winds so hiding- 



76 

it from our sight; even so our csecity or blindness, and corrupt affec- 
tions do often shadow ttie light of God's seed in tjod's children, as 
though they were plain reprobates. 

Whereof it cometh, that they, praying according to their sense, 
but not according to the truth, desire of God to give them again his 
spirit, as though they had lost it, and he had taken it away. Which 
thing God never dolh indeed, although he makes us to think so fora 
time ; for always he holdeth his hand under his children in their fall, 
that they lie not still as other do, which are not regenerate. And 
this is the difference betwixt God's children which are regenerate 
and elect before all times in Christ, and the wicked castaways; that 
the elect lie not still continually in their sin, as do the wicked ; but 
at the length do return again by reason of God's seed, which is in 
them hid as a sparkle of fire in the ashes ; as we may see in Peter, 
David, Paul, Mary Magdalen, and others. For these, I mean God's 
children, God hath made all things in Christ Jesus, to whom he 
hath given this dignity, that they should be his inheritance and 
spouses. 

This our inheritour Christ Jesus, God with God, light of light, 
coeternal and consubstantial with the father and with the Holy Ghost, 
to the end that he might become our husband, because the husband 
and the wife must be one body and one flesh, hath taken our nature 
upon him, communicating with it and by it in his own person, to us 
all his children, his divine majesty, as Peter saith, and so is become 
flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bones, substantially ; as we are 
become flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bones spiritually, all that 
ever we have pertaining to him, yea even our sins ; as all that ever 
he hath, pertaineth unto us, even his whole glory. So that if satan 
should summon us to answer for our debts or sins, in that the wife 
is no sueable person, but the husband; we may well bid him enter 
his action against our husband Christ, and he will make him a 
sufficient answer. 

For this end, I mean that we might be coupled and married thus 
to Christ, and so be certain of salvation, and at godly peace with 
God in our conscience; God hath given his holy word, which hath 
two parts, as now the children of God do consist of two men ; one 
part of God s word being proper to the old man, and the other part of 



77 



God's word being proper to the new man. The part properly per- 
taining to the old man, is the law; the part properly pertaining to 
the new man, is the gospel. 

The law is a doctrine which commandeth and forbiddeth, 
requiring doing and avoiding. Under it therefore are contained 
all precepts, threatenings, promises upon conditions of our doing and 
avoiding, &c. The gospel is a doctrine which always offereth and 
giveth, requiring faith on our behalf, not as of worthiness, or as a 
cause, but as a certificate unto us, and therefore under it are con- 
tained all the free and sweet promises of God ; as, I am the Lord, 
thy God, &c. 

In those that be of years of discretion, it requireth faith, not as 
a cause, but as an instrument, whereby we ourselves may be certain 
of our good husband Christ and of his glory ; and therefore when the 
conscience feeleth itself disquieted for fear of God's judgment against 
sin, she may in no wise look upon the doctrine pertaining to the old 
man, but on the doctrine only that pertaineth to the new man, in it 
nofc looking for that which it requireth, that is faith, because we 
never believe as we should ; but only on it which it offereth, and 
which it giveth, that is, on God's grace and eternal mercy and peace 
in Christ. 

So shall she be in quiet, when she looketh for it altogether out of 
herself, in God's mercy in Christ Jesus, in whose lap, if she lay her 
head with St. John, then is she happy, and shall find quietness 
indeed. When she feeleth herself quiet, then, in God's name, let 
her look on the law, and upon such things as it requireth, thereby 
to bridle and keep down the old Adam, to slay that Goliath ; from 
whom she must needs keep the sweet promises, being the bed wherein 
her spouse and she meet and lie together. For as the wife will keep 
her bed only for her husband, although in other things she is con- 
tented to have fellowship with others, as to speak, sit, eat, drink, 
go, &c. ; so our consciences, which are Christ's wives, must needs 
keep the bed, that is, God's sweet promises alonely for our selves and 
our husband, there to meet together, to embrace and laugh together, 
and to be joyful together. If sin, the law, the devil, or any thing, 
would creep into the bed, and lie there, then complain to thy 



78 

husband Christ, and forthwith thou shalt see him play Phineas* 
part. Thus, ray dearly beloved, I have given you in fe\v words,* 
a sum of all the divinity which a Christian conscience can not 
want. 



No. 26.t 



TO CERTAIN OF HIS FRIENDS, N. S. & R. C. 

At that time, not thoroughly instructed in the Doctrine of 
God's Election. 



I WISH to you, my good brethren, the same grace of God in 
Christ, which I wish and pray the father of mercies to give me for 
his holy name's sake. Amen. 

Your letter though I have not read myself, because I would not 
alienate my mind from conceived things to write to others, yet I 
have heard the sura of it, that is of God's election ; wherein I will 
briefly write to you my faith, and how I think it good and meet for 
a Christian man to wade in it. I believe, that man, made after the 
image of God, did fall from that blessed state, to the condemnation 
of himself, and all his posterity. I believe that Christ, for man 
being thus fallen, did oppose himself to the justice of God, a media- 
tor, paying the ransom and price of redemption for Adam and his 
whole posterity, that refuse it not finally. I believe that all that 
believe in Christ, I speak of such as be of years of discretion, are 
partakers of Christ and all his merits. I believe that faith, and to 
believe in Christ, I speak not now of faith that men have by reason 
of miracles, John ii. 11. Acts viii. or by reason of earthly commodity, 
Matthew xiii., custom and authority of men, which is commonly 
seen, the hearts of them that so believe being not right and simple 

That is do without. t Fox iii. 352. 



79 

before God ; but I speak of that faith which indeed is the true faith, 
the justifying and regenerating faith, 1 believe, I say, that this faith 
and belief in Christ, is the work and gift of God, that is, to those 
whom God the father, before the beginning of the world, hath pre- 
destinated in Christ unto eternal life. 

Thus do I wade in predestination, in such sort as God hath 
patefied and opened it. Though in God it be the first, yet to us it is 
last opened, and therefore I begin with creation, from whence I come 
to redemption, so to justification, and so to election. On this sort 
I am sure, that warily and wisely a man may walk in it easily by 
the light of God's spirit, in and by his word, seeing this faith is not 
to be given to all men, 2 Thess. iii., but to such as are born of God, 
predestinated hefore the world was made, after the purpose and good 
will of God; which will we may not call into disputation, but in 
trembling and fears submit ourselves to it, as to that which can will 
none otherwise, than that which is holy, right, and good ; how far 
soever otherwise it seem to the judgment of reason, which must needs 
be beaten down to be more careful for God's glory, than for man's 
salvation, which dependeth only thereon, as all God's children full 
well see; for they seek not the glory which cometh of men, but 
the glory which cometh of God, Jeremiah ix. John v. They know 
God to be a God which doth on earth, not only mercy, but also 
judgment; which is his justice, and most justice, although our foolish 
reason cannot see it, and in this knowledge they glory and rejoice; 
though others, through vain curiosity, grudge and murmur there 
against. 

Thus briefly I have sent you my mind and meaning concerning 
this matter, Hereafter you shall have, I think, your letter particu- 
larly answered by M. Philpot, as also if 1 have time, and so you 
require it, I will do.* 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



* See Appendix, Note, (L.) 



80 
No. 27.* 

TO A DEAR FRIEND, 

Wherein he treateth, as briefly, so most perfectly , godly, soundly, 
and pithily, of God's Holy Election, Free Grace, and Mercy 
in Jesus Christ. 



FAITH of God's election, I mean to believe that we be in very 
deed the children of God through Christ, and shall be for ever 
inheritors of everlasting life, through the only grace of God our father 
in the same Christ, is of all things which God requireth of us, not 
only most principal, but also the whole sum; so that without this 
faith, there is nothing we do that can please God. And therefore 
as God first required it in saying, I am the Lord thy God, &c. that is, 
I remit thee thy sins and give thee my holy spirit, and for ever will 
I keep thee ; so our Saviour would have us to be persuaded when we 
come to pray, and therefore teacheth, yea he commandeth us, to call 
God our father; whose power were not infinite, as we profess in the 
first article of our belief, where we call him expressly our Almighty 
Father, if we shall doubt of his final favour. 

And therefore 1 cannot but much marvel at some men which 
seem godly, and yet are in this behalf too malicious both to God 
and man. For what is more seeming to God than mercy, which is 
most magnified of the elect children of God ? And what is more 
seeming to man than humility, the which is not nor cannot be indeed 
but in the elect of God, for they alone attribute nothing at all to 
themselves continually but damnation, that in God only and for ever, 
may be their whole glory? 

But this notwithstanding, there is that have gone about together, 
yea to set abroad enormities, out of the doctrine of God's most holy 
and comfortable election and predestination ; while the same doctrine 
hath more commodities than all the whole world can be able to 

* Cov. 391. 



81 

conceive, much less to express. For what destroys enormities so 
much as it doth? It overthroweth the most pestilent papistical 
poison of doubting of God's favour, which is the very dungeon of 
despair and of the contempt of God. It destroys the Ethnick opinion 
of fortune ; it comforteth most comfortably in the cross, and casteth 
down all cogitations that would else cover us with sorrow and dolour, 
in telling that all things shall turn to the best. 

It niaketh us modest and putteth away pride in prosperity, by 
pulling from men meriting or deserving. It enforceth men to love 
and carefully to travail for their brethren, utterly impugning the con- 
tempt of any. It provoketh to piety, and is the greatest enemy to 
ungodliness that can be, by teaching us of what dignity we be, of 
what price even our bodies be, temples of the Holy Ghost, and mem- 
bers of Christ. It engendereth a true desire of our home in heaven, 
and so to despise this world, and the things that this world hath in 
estimation. 

It maketh man wholly and continually to grieve over himself, to 
be careful not for himself, but for others, and for those things that 
make to God's glory. It helpeth very much to the true understand- 
ing of the scriptures, and preserveth from errors, by knowing what 
is to be attributed to the law, to the gospel, to the ministry, to the 
vocal word, to the old testament, to the new testament, to the sacraments, 
to faith, to works, to prayer, to penance, to God, to man, &c. For by 
the spirit of election we see and know Christ, in whom dwelleth all 
the riches and treasures of knowledge. It setteth up Christ's kingdom, 
and utterly overthroweth the wisdom, power, choice, and ableness of 
man, that all glory may be given only unto God. 

But what go I about to reckon the commodities coming out of 
the doctrine of God's election, in that they be innumerable ? This 
is a sum, that where a Christian man's life hath respect to God, to man 
and to himself, to live godly, justly, and soberly ; all is grounded 
in predestination in Christ. For who liveth godly, but he that 
believeth? and who believeth but such as are ordained to eternal 
life? Who liveth justly, but such as love their neighbours? and 
whence springeth this love, but of God's election before the begin- 
ning of the world, that we might be blameless by love? Who 
liveth soberly but such as be holy? and who are those, but only they 



92 

that be endued with the spirit of sanctitication, which is the seal of 
our election, who by election do believe ? 

Wherefore, my dearly beloved in the Lord, I have taken in hand 
at this present, something to write to you, and for your sake in this 
matter, which herewithal I have sent unto you ; as well to be a help 
to you herein, as also to be a pledge of my careful love and hearty 
desire I have for your continuance in the truth, wherein I trust you 
stand perfectly, when I am dead and burned ; as I look for none 
other, so soon as God shall give leave to his enemies for my weal and 
endless joy in Christ; to whom as to a most faithful pastor, from the 
bottom of my heart, I do commend and bequeath you, beseeching 
him to watch over you night and day as over one of his poor lambs, 
to keep you out of the claws of the lion and mouth of the wolves, to 
his glory and your eternal joy and comfort in him. Amen. 

There is neither virtue nor vice to be considered according to any 
outward action, nor according to the will and wisdom of man, but 
according to the will of God. Whatsoever is conformable thereto, 
the same is virtue, and the action that springeth thereof is laudable 
and good, howsoever it appear otherwise to the eyes and reason of 
man ; as was the lifting up of Abraham's hand to have slain his son. 
Whatsoever is not conformable to the will of God, that same is vice; 
and the actions springing thereof is to be disallowed and taken for 
evil ; and that so much the more and greater evil, by how much it is 
not consonant and agreeing to God's will, although it seem far 
otherwise to man's wisdom ; as was Peter's wish of making three 
tabernacles, and the request of some, who would have had fire to 
come down from heaven, upon a zeal to God, &c. 

Now, the will of God is not so known as in his word; therefore 
according to it must vice and virtue, good and evil be judged ; and 
not according to the judgment, wisdom, reason, and collection of any 
man or of all the whole world, if all the angels in heaven should 
take their part. 

But this word of God, which is written in the canonical books of 
the bible, doth plainly set forth unto us , that God hath of his own 
mercy and good will, and to the praise of his grace and glory, in 
Christ elected some and not all, whom he hath predestinated unto 
everlasting life in the same Christ, and in his time called them, 



83 

justified them, and glorified them, so that they shall never perish 
and err to damnation finally. 

Therefore to affirm, teach, and preach this doctrine, hath in it 
no hurt, no vice, no evil ; much less then hath it any enormities, as 
some do affirm, to the eyes and spirit of them which are guided, and 
will be, hy the word of God. 

That God, the eternal father of mercies before the beginning of 
the world, hath of his own mercy and good will, and to the praise 
of his grace and glory, elected in Christ some and not all of the 
posterity of Adam ; whom he hath predestinated unto eternal life, 
and calleth them in his time, justifieth them, and glorifieth them, 
so that they shall never perish or err to damnation, finally ; that this 
proposition is true and according to God's plain and manifest word, 
by the help of his Holy Spirit, which in the name of Jesus Christ, 
v I humbly beseech him of his mercy, plenteously to give to me at this 
present and for ever, to the sanctification of his holy name 5 by the 
help, I say, of his Holy Spirit, I trust so evidently to declare, that no 
man of God shall be able by the word of God, ever to impugn it, 
much less to confute it. 

In the first chapter of the epistle to the Ephesians, the apostle 
saith thus; Blessed be God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
which hath blessed us with all manner of blessings in heavenly 
things by Christ, according as be hath elected or chosen us in him 
before the foundation of the world was laid, that we should he holy 
and without blame before him through love ; and hath predestinated 
us, or ordained us, through Jesus Christ, to be heirs unto himseif, 
according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory 
of his grace, wherewith he hath made us accepted in the beloved, 
by whom we have received redemption through his blood, and the 
forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of his grace, which 
grace he hath shed on us abundantly in all wisdom and under- 
standing; and hath opened unto us the mystery of his will according 
to his good pleasure, which he purposed in himself, to have it 
declared when the time was full come, that he might gather together 
all things by, or in, Christ, as well the things that be in heaven, as 
the things that be in earth, even in, or by, him ; by, or in, whom we 
are made heirs, being thereto predestinated according to the purpose 



84 

of him which worketh all things according to the decree, or counsel, 
of his own will, that we which hoped before, (you) in Christ, should 
be unto the praise of his glory; in whom ye also hoped, after that 
ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, wherein 
ye also believing, were sealed with the holy spirit of promise, which 
is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption, or full fruition, 
of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. 

These be the words of Paul, which 1 have faithfully translated 
according to the very text in the Greek, as by the judgment of all 
that be learned I desire herein to be tried. Out of the which words 
of Paul, we may well perceive every thing affirmed in my proposition, 
as I will give occasion plainly to them that will, to see it. 

First, that the cause of God's election is of his good will, the 
apostle sheweth in saying that it is through his love, whereby we are 
holy and without blame; also, according to the good pleasure of his 
will ; according to his good pleasure purposed in himself; according 
to his purpose, which worketh all things after the counsel of his own 
will. 

Secondly, that election was before the beginning of the world, 
the apostle plainly sheweth in saying, that we were chosen before the 
foundation of the world was laid; and afterwards, in calling it the 
mystery of his will, purposed with himself, in time to be declared. 

Thirdly, that election is in Christ, the apostle doth so flatly and 
plainly set it forth, that I need not here to repeat it. We, saith he, 
are chosen in him; we are heirs by him ; we are accepted by him; 
we are gathered together in him, &c. 

Fourthly, that election is of some of Adam's posterity and not 
of all, we may plainly see it, if we consider that he maketh the 
true demonstration of it, believing, hoping, and having the earnest of 
the spirit. In whom ye hoped, saith he, after ye heard the word, 
&c. in whom ye believed, were sealed up, &c. Again, in attributing 
to the elect, forgiveness of sins, holiness, blameless living, being in 
Christ, &c. That we should be holy, saith he, &c. We have received 
forgiveness of sins, &c. Who seeth not that these are not common to 
all men? All men have not faith, saith Paul elsewhere. None 
believed, saith Luke, but such as were ordained to eternal life. None 
believe but such as be born of God. None believe truly but such as 



85 

have good hearts, and keep God's seed to bring forth fruit by 
patience. So that it is plain, faith being a demonstration of God's 
election to them that be of years of discretion, that all men are not 
elect; because all men believe not. For he that believeth in the 
Lord, shall be as MOUNT SIGN, that is, he shall never be removed ; 
for if he be removed, that is finally perish, surely he never truly 
believed. But what go I about to light a candle in the clear sun 
light, when our Saviour plainly saith that all be not chosen, but few? 
Many be called, saith he, but few be chosen. And in the second 
chapter to the Ephesians, the apostle plainly saith, that the great riches 
of God's mercy, through his exceeding great love, hath saved them 
before their parents and many other gentiles, which were excluded 
from Christ, and strangers from the promise, hopeless, godless, &c. 
where-through we may be occasioned to cry ; Oh, the depth of the 
judgments of God, who is just in all his doings, and holy in all his 
works, extending his mercy after his good pleasure and will, above 
all his works. 

Fifthly, that God hath predestinated those, thus elect, unto ever- 
lasting life in Christ, the apostle doth also in the words before 
written declare, in saying ; And hath predestinated us through Jesus 
Christ to be heirs unto himself. Again, By him, saith he, ye are 
made heirs and predestinated to the praise of his glory. So saith the 
apostle elsewhere ; whom he hath predestinated, them hath he pre- 
destinated to be like fashioned unto the shape of his son. And 
therefore Christ saith, Rejoice in this, that your names are written 
in heaven. 

Sixthly, that the end of election is to the praise of God's glory 
and grace, the apostle sheweth here, in saying ; We are predestinated 
to be holy, and without blame before God, &c. in saying we are pre- 
destinated,to the glory of his grace ; and in saying also, unto the praise 
of his glory; so that nothing can be more manifest. 

Seventhly, that predestination is not without vocation in God's 
time, and justification, the apostle here doth teach, in bringing us to 
the consideration of hearing the word of truth, believing, receiving 
the holy spirit, remission of sins, &c. In whom, saith he, ye have 
hoped, after that ye heard the word of truth, &c. Again, by whom 
ye have redemption, that is, remission of sins through the shedding 



86 



of his blood, &c. Alsc, he hath in his full time declared the mystery 
of his will, &c. Unto the Romans the apostle sheweth it most 
manifestly in saying; Whom he hath predestinated, them he calleth; 
whom he calleth, them he justifieth. Whereby we may see that 
predestination or election is not universal of all, for all be not 
justified. 

Eighthly, and last of all, that election is so certain, that the elect 
and predestinated to eternal life shall never perish or err to damna- 
tion finally, the apostle doth hereby also very plainly shew, in 
saying; that they are predestinated to the praise of God's Grace. 
He saith not, to the praise of his justice, to the praise of his wisdom, 
to the praise of his power, although he might most truly say so ; but 
he saith, to the praise of his grace; which were not grace if there were 
any respect at all of works on our behalf, for then were grace not 
grace. If there should be any condemnation, of the elect and pre- 
destinate to eternal life, it must needs be because of their sins; but 
where were the praise of God's grace then, which is the end of God's 
election? Shall we not by this means make God's election without 
an end, and so without a head ; and so no election at all, as some 
would have, further than they elect themselves ? Let such fear they 
shall not find the benefit of God's election, because they seek it as 
the Israelites did, and not as the elect, who not only find it, but 
also obtain it. The other are blinded, as it is written ; God hath 
given them the spirit of unbelief, eyes that they should not see, 
and ears that they should not hear, even to this day, &c. Secondly, 
he sheweth the certainty of salvation to them that be elected, 
in saying that they be accepted in the beloved. Once accepted 
and beloved in Christ, and ever beloved; for whom he loveth, 
he loveth to the end; and God's gifts are such that he cannot 
repent him of them. And therefore, saith Christ, 1 know whom I 
have chosen, attributing to election the cause of final perseverance. 
Bj which thing Judas was seen not to be elected to eternal life, 
although he was elected to the office of an apostle, as Saul was elected 
to the office of a king. Which kind of election is to be discerned in 
reading the scriptures, from this kind of election, the which I speak 
of now, that is, from election to eternal life in Christ. Thirdly, 
te sheweth the certainty of salvation of the elect, by calling 



87 



them heirs; for if we be heirs of God, then are we fellow 
heirs with Christ, to be afflicted and glorified with Christ; and 
therefore, saith he, according to the decree of his own will. Lo! he 
calleth it a decree or counsel which shall stand, as Isaiah saith^ the 
counsel of the Lord shall stand. Fourthly, he showed this 
certainty, by saying that they are elect and predestinate to 
the praise of God's glory, which we shbuld more care for, 
than for the salvation of all the world. This glory of the 
Lord is set forth as well in them that perish and are reprobates, as 
in the elect; and therefore St. John, bringing in the place of Isaiah 
speaking of the reprobate, saith that Isaiah spake that when he saw 
the glory of the Lord. This glory of the Lord to be set forth by us, 
is a great mercy and benefit of God. I am assured that if the very 
devils and reprobates did not repine hereat, but were thankful that 
they might be ministers in any point to set forth God's glory; I am 
assured, I say, that they should find no hell nor torments. Theit 
hell and torments come of the love they have to themselves, and of 
the malice, envy, and hatred they have against God and his glory. 
Let them tremble and fear, that may not away with the glory of the 
Lord in election and reprobation. Let not their eyes be evil because 
God is good, and doth good, to whom it pleaseth him; wrong he 
doth to no man, nor can do, for then he were not righteous, and so 
no God. He cannot condemn the just, for then were he untrue, 
because his word is contrary. He cannot condemn the penitent and 
believer, for that were against his promise. Let us therefore labour, 
study, cry, and pray for repentance and faith, and then cannot we 
be damned ; because we are the blessed of the father before all worlds, 
and therefore we believe, therefore we repent. 

And forasmuch as it pertaineth to us which be within, to see and 
to speak of those things which are given unto us of God in Christ; let 
s labour hereabouts, and leave them that be without to the Lord, 
which will judge them in Itis time. The apostle prayeth for the 
Ephesians, for none other wisdom and revelation from God, than 
whereby they might know God, and have their minds illumined, to 
see what they should hope for by their vocation, and how rich the 
glory of his inheritance is upon his saints. 

Further than this, I think is unseemly for us to search, until we 



88 

have sought out, how vich God's goodness is and will be to n his 
children. The which we can never do, but the more we go there- 
abouts, and the more we taste his goodness, the more we shall love 
him and lothe all things that displease him. This, I say, let us do, 
and not be too busy bodies in searching the majesty and glory of 
God ; or in nourishing in any wise the doubting of our salvation, 
whereto we are ready enough, and the devil goeth about nothing 
so much as that ; for by it we are dull to do good to others, we are 
so careful of ourselves. By it we are more dull to do good to our- 
selves, because we stand in doubt whether it profiteth us or no. By 
it we dishonour God, either in making him as though he were not 
true, or else as though our salvation came not only and altogether 
from him, but hanged partly on ourselves. By it the devil will bring 
men at length to despair and hatred of God. Doubt once of thy sal- 
vation, and continue therein, and surely he will then ask no more. 
It was the first thing wherewith he tempted Christ; If thou be the 
Son of God, &c. It is the first and most principal dart he casteth at 
God's elect. 

But as he prevailed not against Christ, no more shall he do against 
any of his members, for they have the shield of faith which quencheth 
his fiery darts. They praise God night and day, how then should 
they perish ? The angels of the Lord pitch their tents round about 
them, how then should satan prevail ? They are borne in the hands 
of the angels, least they should hurt their feet at any stone. God hath 
given commandment to his angels over them. The angels are 
ministers unto them. Their names are written in the book of life, and 
therefore Christ bad them rejoice; as Paul doth the Phillipians, for 
nothing shall separate them from the love wherewith God loveth them 
in Christ Jesu, who saith that it is impossible for them to err finally 
to damnation; for he is their light to illumine their darkness. 

They are given to him to keep, and he is faithful over all God's 
children; he saith he will keep them so that they shall never perish. 
After they believe, they are entered already into everlasting life ; 
Christ hath set them there already; he hath committed them into his 
father's hands by prayer, which we know is sure, and therefore 
death, hell, devils, nor all power, sins, nor mischief, shall never pull 
us out of our Head's hands; whose members we are, and therefore 



89 



receiving- of his spirit as we do, we cannot but bring forth the 
fruits thereof, though now and then the flesh fail us. 

But the Lord, even our Lord be praised, which is more strong in 
us than he which is in the world; he always putteth under his 
hand that we lie not still, nor shall do, as the reprobate; whose piety 
is as the morning dew, soon come and soon gone, and therefore 
they cannot continue to the end. Cannot? no, they will not if they 
could, because they hate God and his glory, and therefore all them 
that seek it, or set it forth; whereas the elect love all men, and seek 
to do all men good in God ; suspending their judgments of others, 
that they may stand or fall to the Lord, and not to them. 

Hitherto out of this one place of Paul to the Ephesians, if the 
matter of election and predestination be so fully set forth to God's 
glory, and to the comfort of his Church ; how may we suppose is 
this matter set forth, in the whole body and books of the canonical 
scripture ? Whereto I had rather send you with this candlelight 
which I have now given you, than in a matter so manifest to make 
more a do than needeth. 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 28.* 

TO HIS DEAR FATHERS DR. CRANMER, 
DR. RIDLEY, AND DR. LATIMER, 

Prisoners in Oxford, for the Testimony of the Lord Jesus, and 
his Holy Gospel. 



Almighty God our heavenly Father, more and more kindle our 
hearts and affections with his love ; that our greatest cross may be to 
be absent from him, and strangers from our home, and that we may 
gladly contend more and more to please him, Amen. 



* Cov. 357. 



90 

As always I have had great cause to praise our dear Father 
through Christ, so methinks I have more and more, in seeing 
more likely the end of my life, which is due for my sin, to he 
through the exceeding grace of Christ, a testimony of God's truth. 
Thus the Lord dealeth not with every body, not that every body hath 
not more deserved at God's hands than I, who have deserved more 
vengeance than any other, I know, of my time and stale ; but that 
by me, I hope, the Lord will make the riches of his grace, to his glory, 
to be seen more excellent. 

With me, therefore, I humbly beseech you all, my most dear fathers 
in God, to give thanks for me, and as you do still, to pray for me ; 
that the Lord, as for his love's sake in Christ he hath begun his good 
work in me, even so of and for the same, his love's sake in Christ, 
he would make it perfect, and make me to continue to the end, as 
I hope he will, for his mercy and truth endureth for ever. 

As for your parts, in that it is commonly thought your staff 
standeth next to the door; ye have the more cause to rejoice and 
be glad, as they which shall come to your fellows under the altar*, 
to the which society God, with you bring me also in his mercy, when 
it shall be his good pleasure. 

I have received many good things from you my good lord, 
master, and dear father, N. Ridley, fruits I mean of your godly 
labours ; all which I send unto you again by this bringer ; one thing 
excepted, which he can tell, 1 do keep upon your further pleasure to 
be known therein. And herewithall I send unto you a little treatise 
which 1 have made, that you might peruse the same, and not only 
you, but also ye my other most dear and reverend fathers in the Lord 
for ever, to give to it your approbation as ye may think good. All 
the prisoners hereabouts, in manner, have seen it, and read it, and as 
therein they agree with me, nay, rather with the truth; so they are 
ready, and will be, to signify it as they shall see you give them 
example. 

The matter may be thought not so necessary as I seem to make 
it ; but yet if ye knew the great evil, that is like hereafter to come to 



Rev. vi. 9. 



91 

posterity by these men, as partly this bringer can signify unto you ; 
surely then could ye not but be most willing to put hereto your 
helping hands. The which thing that I might more occasion you to 
perceive, I have sent you here a writing of Harry Hart's* own hand, 
whereby ye may see how Christ's glory and grace is like to lose 
much light, if that your sheep quondam be not something holpen by 
them which love God, and are able to prove that all good is to be 
attributed, only and wholly to God's grace and mercy in Christ, 
without other respect of worthiness than Christ's merits. 

The effects of salvation they so mingle and confound with the 
cause, that if it be not seen to, more hurt will come by them, than 
ever came by the Papists ; inasmuch as their lives commend them to 
the world more than the Papists. God is my witness, that I write 
not this, but because 1 would God's glory and the good of his people. 
In free will they are plain Papists, yea Pelagians; and ye know that 
modicum fermenli totam massam corrumpit. They utterly contemn 
learning;! but hereof shall this bringer shew you more. 

As to the chief captains, therefore, of Christ's Church here, I 
complain of it unto you ; as truly I must do of you even unto 
GOD in the last day, if ye will not as ye can, help something j ut 
veritas Doctrine mancat apud posteros in this behalf, as ye have 
done on the behalf of matters expugned by the Papists. God for his 
mercy in Christ, guide you, my most dearly beloved fathers, with 
his Holy Spirit here and in all other things ; as most may make to 
his glory and the commodity of his Church. Amen. 

All here, God therefore be praised, prepare themselves willingly 
to pledge our Captain Christ, even when he will and how he will. 
By your good prayers we shall all fare the better, and therefore we 
all pray you to continue to cry to God for us, as we, God willing, do 

* This was the chiefest maintainer of man's free will, and enemy to God's free grace. 

Cov. 

+ This is well known to all those which have had to do with them in disputations 
or otherwise ; for the writings and authority of the learned they have utterly rejected 
and despised. Cov. 359. 

j Upon this occasion, M. Ridley wrote a learned and godly treatise of God's 
election and predestination. Cov. 359. Whereof he afterwards wrote a godly and 
comfortable treatise, remaining yet in the hands of some, and hereafter shall come to 
light, if God so will. Cov. 65. 



92 

and will remember you. My brethren here with me, have thought it their 
duty to signify this need to be no less than J make it, to prevent the 
plantations which may take root by these men.* 
Your's in the Lord, 

ROBERT FERRAR. 

ROWLAND TAYLOR. 

JOHN BRADFORD. 

JOHN PHILPOT. 



IN the month of May, 1554, it was given 
out that a solemn disputation was to be held 
at Cambridge between Bradford, Saunders, 
Rogers, and others of that side ; and the 
Doctors of both the Universities on the other 
side ; as had already taken place at Oxford. 

The godly preachers who were in prison, 
having heard thereof, although destitute of 
their books, and by no means ignorant of the 
purpose of their adversaries, and how the 
case had been prejudiced before, as also 
how the disputations had been confusedly 
handled at Oxford ; thought nevertheless they 
ought not to refuse the offer of a disputation, 
so that they might be justly and impartially 
heard. They therefore, by mutual consent, 
issued a declaration of their minds in writing, 
stating that although they knew they should 

* See Appenrti*. Note (M.) 



93 

do no good, all things having been predeter- 
mined, yet nevertheless they would not refuse 
to dispute ; so that the disputation might be 
either before the Queen, the Council, or the 
Parliament Houses, or else in writing. 

For otherwise, if the matter were brought 
to the Doctors' handling, in their own schools, 
they had sufficient proof from the experience 
of Oxford, what little good would be done at 
Cambridge ; and so consequently declaring 
the doctrine of their religion, and exhorting 
the people to submit themselves with all 
patience and humility, either to the will or 
punishment of the higher powers, they appealed 
in the end fromthemtobe their judges in this 
behalf, and so ended their protestation, the 
copy and contents whereof follow. 

No. 29.* 

A copy of a certain declaration, drawn and sent out of prison 
by Master Bradford, Master Saunders, and divers other 
godly preachers, concerning their disputation, and doctrine 
of their religion, asfolloweth. 

Because we hear that it is determined of the magistrates, and 
such as be in authority, especially of the clergy, to send us speedily 
out of the prisons of the King's Bench, the Fleet, the Marshalsea, 
and Newgate, where at this present we are, and of long time some 
of us have been ; not as rebels, traitors, seditious persons, thieves, or 
transgressors of any laws of this realm, inhibitions, proclamations, 
or commandments of the Queen's Highness, or of any of the councils, 



* Fox iii. loo. 



94 

God's name be praised therefore; but alonely for the conscience we 
have to God, and his most holy word and truth, upon most certain 
knowledge: because we say, we hear that it is determined, we shall 
be sent to one of the Universities of Cambridge or Oxford, there to 
dispute with such as are appointed in that behalf: in that we 
purpose not to dispute otherwise than by writing, except it may be 
before the Queen's Highness and her council, or before the parliament 
houses; and therefore perchance it will be bruited abroad, that we 
are not able to maintain by the truth of God's woid, and the consent 
of the true and Catholic Church of Christ, the doctrine we have 
generally and severally taught, and some of us have written and set 
forth ; wherethrough the godly and simple may be offended, and 
somewhat weakened : we have thought it our bounden duty now 
whilst we may, by writing, to publish and notify the causes, why 
we will not dispute otherwise than is above said, to prevent the 
offences which might come thereby. 

First, because it is evidently known unto the whole world, that 
the determinations of both the Universities in matters of religion, 
especially wherein we should dispute, are directly against God's 
word, yea, against their own determinations in the time of our late 
Sovereign Lord and most godly Prince, King Edward: and further 
it is known they be our open enemies, and have already condemned 
our causes, before any disputations had of the same. 

Secondly, because the prelates, and clergy do not seek either us 
or the verity, but our destruction and their glory. For if they had 
sought us, as charity requireth, then would they have called us forth 
hereabouts before their laws were so made, that frankly and without 
peril, we might have spoken our consciences. Again, if they had 
sought for the verity, they would not have concluded of controversies 
before they had been disputed; so that it easily appeareth, that they 
seek their own glory and our destruction, and not us and the verity : 
and, therefore, we have good cause to refuse disputation, as a thing 
which shall not further prevail, than to the setting forth of their 
glory, and the suppression of the verity. 

Thirdly, because the censors and judges, as we hear who they 
be, are manifest enemies to the truth, and that which worse is, 
obstinate enemies, before whom pearls are not to be cast, by the 
commandment of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and by his own example. 



95 

That they be such, their designs of late at Oxford, and in the 
convocation house* in October last past, do most evidently declare. 

Fourthly, because some of us have been in prison these eight or 
nine months, where we have had no books, no paper, no pen, no ink, 
or convenient place for study; we think we should do evil, thus 
suddenly to descend into disputation with them, who may alledge, 
as they list, the fathers and their testimonies, because our memories 
have not that which we have read, so readily, as to reprove, when 
they shall report and wrest the authors to their purpose ; or to bring- 
forth that we may have there, for our advantage. 

Fifthly, because in disputations we shall not be permitted to 
prosecute our arguments, but be stopped when we should speak ; one 
saying this, another that, the third his mind, &c. as was done to the 
godly learned fathers, especially Dr. Ridley at Oxford,f who could 
not be permitted to declare his mind and meaning of the propositions, 
and had oftentimes half a dozen at once speaking against him, 
always letting him to prosecute his argument, and to answer 
accordingly: we will not speak of the hissing, scoffing, and taunting 
which wonderfully then was used. If on this sort, and much worse 
they handled these fathers, much more will they be shameless bold 
with us, if we should enter into disputation with them. 

Sixthly, because the notaries that shall receive and write the dispu- 
tations, shall be of their appointment, and such as either do not or 
dare not favour the truth, and therefore must write either to please 
them, or else they themselves, the censors and judges we mean, at 
their pleasure will put to and take from that which is written by the 
notaries; who cannot, or must not have in their custody that which 



* See the account of the proceedings upon that occasion, at length, in Fox iii. 1929. 
t Se a full account of this extracted from Fox, and a variety of explanatory notes 
by Dr. Wordsworth, vol. iii. 123. et sequent. Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer were 
appointed a day each in their cause to answer all opponents ; which each of them per- 
formed, and that so, that notwithstanding they were annoyed with rude clamours, and 
distracted with variety of opponents, all urging and craving answer at the same time ; 
although they were scoffed at, reviled, and overborne with multitude, yet did they 
force their adversaries to admire them. Cranmer did learnedly, and according to the 
dignity wherein he so many years flourished, gravely. Ridley, acutely and readily. 
And Latimer, with a pleasant tartness, and more solidly than could be expected of- a 
man so near the age of fourscore. Up. Godwin's Annals. Queen Mary, 



they write, longer than the disputation endureth, as their doings at 
Oxford declare. No copy, nor scroll could any man have by their 
good will; for the censors and judges will have all delivered into 
their hands. Yea, if any man was seen there to write, as the report 
is, the same man was sent for and his writings taken from him ; so 
must the disputation serve only for the glory, not of God, but of the 
enemies of his truth. 

For these causes we all think it so necessary, not to dispute with 
them, as if we did dispute we should do that which they desire and 
purposely seek, to promote the kingdom of antichrist, and to 
suppress, as much as may be, the truth. We will not speak of the 
offence that might come to the godly, when they should hear, by the 
report of our enemies, our answers and arguments framed, you may 
be sure, for their fantasies, to the slandering of the verity. 

Therefore we publish, and by this writing notify unto the whole 
congregration and Church of England, that for these aforesaid 
causes we will not dispute with them, otherwise than with the pen ; 
unless it be before the Queen's Highness and her Council, or before 
the Houses of the Parliament, as is above said. If they will write, 
we will answer, and by writing confirm and prove out of the infal- 
lible verity, even the very word of God, and by the testimony of 
the good and most ancient fathers in Christ's Church, this our 
faith and every piece thereof ; which hereafter we in a sum do write 
and send abroad purposely, that our good brethren and sisters in the 
Lord may know it: and to seal up the same, we are ready, through 
God's help and grace, to give our lives to the halter or fire, or other- 
wise, as God shall appoint: humbly requiring, and in the bowels of 
our Saviour Jesus Christ, beseeching all that fear God, to behave 
themselves as obedient subjects to the Queens Highness and the 
superior powers, which are ordained of God under her ; rather after 
our example to give their heads to the block, than in any point to rebel, 
or once to mutter against the Lord's anointed ; we mean our 
Sovereign Lady Queen Mary, into whose heart we beseech the Lord 
of mercy, plentifully to pour the wisdom and grace of his Holy 
Spirit, now and for ever. Amen. 

First, we confess and believe all the canonical books of the Old 
Testament, and all the books of the New Testament, to be the very 
true word of God, and to be written by the inspiration of the Holy 



97 

Ghost, and are therefore to be heard accordingly, as the judge in 
all controversies and matters of religion. 

Secondly, we confess and believe, that the catholic church which 
is the spouse of Christ, as a most obedient and loving wife, doth 
embrace and follow the doctrine of these books in all matters of 
religion, and therefore is she to be heard accordingly : so that those, 
who will not hear this church, thus following and obeying the 
word of her husband, we account as heretics and schismaticks, 
according to this saying, If he will not hear the church, let him 
be unto thee as a heathen. 

Thirdly, we believe and confess all the articles of faith and 
doctrine set forth in the symbols of the apostles, which we commonly 
call the creed, and in the symbols of the councils of Nice, held A. D. 
324; of Constantinople, A. D. 384; of Ephesus, A.D. 432; of 
Chalcedon, A. D. 454; of Toletum* the first and fourth; also in the 
symbols of Athanasius, Irenseus, Tertullian, and of Damasus, which 
was about the year of our Lord 3/6 ; we confess and believe, we say, 
the doctrine of the symbols generally and particularly; so that 
whosoever doth otherwise, we hold the same to err from the truth. 

Fourthly, we believe and confess concerning justification, that 
as it cometh only from God's mercy, through Christ, so it is 
perceived and had of none, which be of years of discretion, other- 
wise than by faith only; which faith is not an opinion, but a certain 
persuasion, wrought by the Holy Ghost in the rnind and heart of man, 
wherethrough as the mind is illumined, so the heart is suppled to 
submit itself to the will of God unfeignedly; and so sheweth forth an 
inherent righteousness, which is to be discerned in the article of jus- 
tification, from the righteousness which God indueth us, withall 
justifying us, although inseparably they go together. And this we 
do not for curiosity or contention sake, but for conscience sake, that 
it might be quiet; which it can never be if we confound, without 
distinction, forgiveness of sins, and Christ's justice imputed to 
us, with regeneration and inherent righteousness. By this we 
disallow the papistical doctrine of free will, of works of supereroga- 
tion, of merits, of the necessity of" auricular confession, and satisfac- 
tion to Godward. 

Fifthly, we confess and believe concerning the exterior service of 

* Toledo, in Spain. 



98 

God, that it ought to be according to the word of God ; and therefore 
in the congregation, all things public ought to be done in such a 
tongue, as may be most to edify, and not in Latin, where the people 
understand not the same. 

Sixthly, we confess and believe that God only by Christ Jesus is 
to be prayed unto, and called upon ; and therefore we disallow invo- 
cation or prayer to Saints, departed this life. 

Seventhly, we confess and believe, that as a man departeth this 
life, so shall he be judged in the last day generally ; and in the mean 
season is entered either into the state of the blessed for ever, or 
damned for ever; and therefore is either past all help, or else needs 
no help of any in this life. By reason whereof we affirm purgatory, 
masses of Scala Cceli, Trentals,* and such suffrages as the Popish 
Church doth obtrude as necessary, to be the doctrine of antichrist. 

Eighthly, we confess and believe the sacraments of Christ, which 
be baptism and the Lord's Supper, that they ought to be ministered 
according to the institution of Christ, concerning the substantial 
parts of them: and that they be no longer sacraments, than they be 
had in use, and used to the end for the which they were 
instituted. 

And here we plainly confess, that the mutilation of the Lord's 
Supper, and the subtraction of the one kind for the lay people, is 
antichristian. 

And so is the doctrine of transubstantiation of the sacramental 
bread and wine, after the words of consecration, as they be called. 

Item, the adoration of the sacrament, with honour due unto 
God ; the reservation and carrying about of the same. 

Item, the mass to be a propitiatory sacrifice for the quick and 
dead, or a work that pleaseth God. 

All these we confess and believe to be antichrist's doctrine : as is 
the inhibition of marriage, as unlawful, to any state. And we 
doubt not by God's grace, but we shall be able to prove all our con- 
fessions here, to be most true by the verity of God's word, and consent 
of the catholic church, which followeth and hath followed the govern- 
ment of God's spirit, and the judgment of his word. 

And this through the Lord's help we will do, either in disputation 
by word before the Queen's Highness and her Council, either before 

Romish Offices so called. 



99 

the Parliament Houses, of whom we doubt not bat to be indifferently 
heard, or else with our pens, whensoever we shall be thereto, by 
them that have authority, required and commanded. 

In the mean season, as obedient subjects, we shall behave our- 
selves towards all that be in authority, and not cease to pray to God 
for them, that he would govern them all, generally and particularly, 
with the spirit of wisdom and grace. And so we heartily desire, 
and humbly pray all men to do, in no point consenting to any kind 
of rebellion or sedition, against our Sovereign Lady the Queen's 
Highness : but where they cannot obey, least they must disobey God, 
there to submit themselves, with all patience and humility, to suffer 
as the will and pleasures of the higher powers shall adjudge: as we 
are ready, through the goodness of the Lord, to suffer whatsoever they 
shall adjudge us unto, rather than we will consent to any doctrine 
contrary to this which we here confess, unless we shall be justly con- 
vinced thereof, either by writing or by word, before such judges as 
the Queen's Highness and her council, or the parliament houses, shall 
appoint. For the Universities and clergy have condemned our 
causes already, by the bigger but not by the better part, without all dis- 
putation of the same: and therefore most justly we may, and do 
appeal from them to be our judges in this behalf, except it may be 
in writing, that to all men the matter may appear. The Lord of 
mercy endue us all with the spirit of his truth and grace of perse- 
verance therein unto the end, Amen. The 8th day of May, A. D. 1554. 
ROBERT FERRAR, EDWARD CROME. 

MENEVENSIS. JOHN ROGERS. 

ROWLAND TAYLOR. LAURENCE SAUNDERS. 

JOHN PHILPOT. EDWARD LAURENCE. 

JOHN BRADFORD. I. P. 

JOHN HOOPER, GLOUCESTR T. M. 
ET W1GORN. 

To these things above said, do 1, Miles Coverdale, late of Exon, 
consent and agree, with these mine afflicted brethren being prisoners, 
mine own hand.* 

* See Appendix Note (N.) 



100 

No. 30.* 

TO SIR JAMES HALES, KNIGHT, 

Then prisoner in the Compter, in Bread-street. 

The God of mercy, and father of all comfort, plentifully pour 
out upon you, and in you, his mercy ; and with his consolations 
comfort and strengthen you to the end, for his and our Christ's sake. 
Amen. 

Although, right worshipful Sir, many causes might move me to 
be content, with crying for you to your God and my God, that he 
would give you grace to persevere well, as he hath right notably 
begun to the great glory of his name, and comfort of all such as fear 
him; as lack of learning, of familiarity, yea, acquaintance, for 1 think 
I am unknown to you both by face and name, and other such 
like things ; yet I cannot content myself, but presume something to 
scribble unto you, not that I think my scribbling can do you good, 
but that I might hereby declare my sympathy and com- 
passion, love, and affection I bear towards your mastership; which is 
contented, yea desirous with us poor misers, to confess Christ's 
gospel in these perilous times and days of trial. Oh, Lord God, how 
good art thou, which doeth thus glean out grapes, 1 mean children 
for thyself, and brethren for Christ. 

Look, goodM. Hales, on your vocation ; not many judges, not 
many knights, not many landed men, not many rich men and 
wealthy to live, as you are, hath God chosen to suffer for his sake, as 
hehathno\v done you. Certainly 1 dare say, you think not so of your- 
self, as though God were bound to prefer you, or had need of you; 
but rather attribute this, as all good things, unto his free mercy in 
Christ. Again, 1 daresay that, you being a wise man, judge of things 

* Fox iii. 324. Cov. 286. 



101 



wisely, that is, concerning this your cross, you judge of it not after 
the world and people, which is magnus erroris magister, not after 
the judgment of reason and worldly wisdom, which is foolishness 
to faith, nor after the present sense, to the which non videtur gaudii, 
sed molestitf, as Paul writeth: but after the word of God, which 
teacheth your cross to he, in respect of yourself between God and 
you, Cod's chastising and your father's correction, nurture, school, 
trial, pathway to heaven, glory, and felicity, and the furnace to con- 
sume the dross, and mortify the relics of old Adam which yet remain ; 
yea, even the frame house to fashion you like to the dearest Saints of 
God here, yea to Christ the Son of God, that elsewhere you might 
be like unto him. 

Now concerning your cross in respect of the world between the 
world and you, God's word teacheth it to be a testimonial of God's 
truth, of his providence, of his power, of his justice, of his wisdom, 
of his anger against sin, of his goodness, of his judgment, of your 
faith and religion : so that by it you are to the world a witness of 
God, one of his testes, that he is true, he ruleth all things, he is just,- 
wise, and at the length will judge the world, and cast the wicked 
into perdition, but the godly he will take and receive into his eternal 
habitation. 

I know you judge of things after faith's fetch, and the effects or 
ends of things, and so you see cslernum pondus glorias^ which this 
cross shall bring unto you, dum non spectas ca qu& videntur, sedea 
qua non videntur. Let the worldlings weigh things, and look upon 
the affairs of men with their worldly and corporal eyes, as did many 
in subscription of the King's last will, and therefore they did that for 
the which they beshrewed themselves : but let us look on things with 
other manner of eyes, as God be praised you did, in not doing that 
which you were desired, and driven at to have done.* You then 
beheld things not as a man, but as a man of God, and so you do now 
in religion, at the least hitherto you have done, and that you might 
do so still, I humbly beseech and pray you, say with David ; De~ 
feccrunt oculi mei in eloquiumtuum^quando consolaberisme? Though 



* Sec Appendix, Note (O;. 



102 

jew be as uter infumo^ for I hear you want health, yet ne olliviscaris 
justificationes Dei: but "cry out, quot sunt dies servi tuif quando 
fades de persequentibus inejudiciumf And be certain, quod Dominus 
veniens veniet, et non tartiabit. Si moram fecerit, expecta ilium, . for 
he is but ad momentum in ira sua, et vita in voluntate ejus. Ad 
Vesperam demorabitur fletus, et ad matutinum Letitia. Follow 
therefore Isaiah's counsel ; abscendere ad modicum, ad momentum* 
donee pertranseat indignatio ejus, which is not indignaiio indeed, 
but to our sense, and therefore in the twenty- seventh chapter of that 
prophet, God saith of his Church and People, that as he keepeth 
night and day, so non est indignatio niihi, saith he. 

The mother sometime beateth the child, but yet her heart 
Hrelteth upon it even in the very beating, and therefore she casteth 
the rod into the fire, and calleth the child, giyeth it an apple, and 
dandleth it most motherly. And to say the truth, the love of mothers 
to their children, is but a trace to train us to behold the love of God 
towards us, aiid therefore saith he; can a mother forget the child of 
her womb ? As who should say, no : but if she should do so, yet will 
not I forget thee, saith the Lord of Hosts. Ah, comfortable saying ; 
1 will not forget thee saith the Lord. 

Indeed the children of God think oftentimes, that God hath for- 
gotten them, and therefore they cry; ne abscondas faciem tuama me 
Sfc. Ne derelinquas meDomine, $c. whereas in very truth it is not so, 
but to their present sense, and therefore David said ; Ego dixi in 
excessu meo projtectus sum a facie tua. But was it so? Nay, verily, 
Read his psalms and you shall see. So writeth he also in other 
places very often, especially in the person of Christ ; as when he saith, 
Deus meus, Deus meus ut quid dereliquisti me f he saith not ut quid 
derelinquis, or derelinquas me, but ut quid dereliquisti me ? Where 
indeed God had not left him, but that it was so to his sense, and that 
this psahn telleth full well ; which psalm I pray you now and then- 
read, it is the 22d, and thereto join the 30th, and 116th, with 
divers others. 

The same we read in the prophet Isaiah, in his 40th chapter, 
where he reproveth Israel for saying God had forgotten them. Nun- 
quid nescis, saith he ? An non audivisti? &c. Qui sperant in Domino 
liiutabunt fortitudinem. And in his 54th chapter : Noli timere, &c. 



103 



Ad panctum enim in modico dereliqui te, at in miserationibus 
magnis congregabo te. In momento indignationis abscondi facieni 
meam parumper a te, etin misericordia sempiterna misertus sum tui, 
dixit Redemptor tuus Dominus. Nam istud erit mihi sicut aquae 
Noe. Ut enira juravi ne porro aquae Noe pertransirent terram, sic 
juravi ut non irascar tibi et non increpem te. Montes enim com- 
movebuntur et colles contremiscent, misericordia autem mea non 
recedet a te, et foedus pacis meae non movebitur, dicit miserator tuus 
Dominus. 

But the scriptures are full of such sweet places, to them that will 
portare iram Domini et expectare salutem et auxilium ejus. As of 
all temptations this is the greatest ; that God hath forgotten or will 
not help us through the pykes, as they say : so of all services of God, 
this liketh him the best, to hope assuredly on him, and for his help 
always, who is adjutor in tribulationibus, and doth more gloriously 
shew his power by such as be weak, and feel themselves so. For, quo 
infirmiores sumus, eo sumus in illo robustiores. Sic oculi Domini be on 
them that tremble and fear. Voluntatem eorum faciet : he is with 
them in their trouble, he will deliver them: antequam clamaverint 
exaudit eos, as all the scriptures teach us: to the reading whereof 
and hearty prayer, I heartily commend you, beseeching Almighty 
God, that of his eternal mercies he would make perfect the good he 
hath begun in you, and strengthen you to the end, that you might 
have no less hope, but much more of his help to your comfort now 
against your enemies, than already he hath given you against N.* for 
not subscribing to the king's will. 

Be certain, be certain, good Master Hales, that all the haii-s .of 
your head, your dear father hath numbered, so that one of them 
shall not perish ; your name is written in the book of life. Therefore 
upon God cast all your care, who will comfort you with his eternal 
consolation, and make you able to go through the fire, if need be, 
which is nothing to_ be compared to the fire, wherein our enemies 
shall fall and lie for ever. From the which the Lord deliver us, 
though it be through temporal fire, which must be construed according 
to the end and profit that cometh after it; so shall it then, not much 



* John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. 



104 

fear us to suffer it, for our Master Christ's cause, the which the Lord 
grant for his mercy's sake. Amen. From the King's Bench.* 
Your humble, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 31.t 

TO MY GOOD FRIEND IN GOD, MASTER 
HUMPHREY HALES.$ 

As to my dear friend, I wish unto you, gentle Master Hales, 
health of soul and body to God's glory, and your everlasting com- 
fort. Amen. 

Although it be commonly spoken, and as commonly verified, 
that seldom seen is soon forgotten ; yet it is not so commonly seen 
or experienced amongst them, whose friendship is in God the Father 
through Christ, as ours is, but in those whose friendship is begun in 
respect of some earthly commodity; and therefore, lest I should incur 
this suspicion at your hands, who have so many ways deserved 
the contrary, I thought it my duty to refresh, if it need refreshing, 
the amity in God begun betwixt us, which I doubt not shall continue 
so long as we live, or else I would be sorry. 

In consideration whereof, both mindful of my promise made 
unto you, and careful for your safety, I have caused a place to be 
provided for your wife's deliverance ; where she may so quietly and 
safely remain, that for the avoiding of the perils and dangers of 
these days, I see none more convenient ; I mean it in Hadley, at Dr. 
Taylor's house, where I trust there is no peril to youwaroV, nor to 
any that feareth or regardeth any peril that thereby may happen. 
And herein of very love and good will, I am the more familiar 
and bold to admonish you, not as distrusting you, God forbid, for I 

* See Appendix Note (P.) 

t Cov. 310. 

J He was the son of the preceding Sir Jas. Hales, as this and the following Letter 

show. 



105 

think of you as a very child of God, but as one careful for you, lest 
you should at length, through the common infirmity of our frail flesh, 
and the manifold offences given of the world, do exteriorly as the 
world doth, to save your sleeve and maim your arm for ever ; as those 
do, who for the saving of their goods, jeopard goods of body and 
soul, in the peril of eternal damnation. 

If I suspected any such thing in you, gentle Master Hales, I then 
would go about to tell you what this life is; a smoke, a shadow, a 
vapour, &c. ; what the glory of this life is ; grass, hay ; yea, how full 
of misery it is, and hath more aloes than honey, Job. ix. If I 
suspected any thing your conscience, I would then set before you, 
on the one part, the judgment of Christ, which shall be most 
assuredly, the terrible sentence to them who are ashamed to confess 
his gospel ; the eternal woe and misery which they shall be cast into, 
that will not obey his gospel here ; and on the other part, the most 
pleasant shout of the angel, to summon all men to come before our 
Captain and Brother Christ, the collection and catching of us up in. 
the clouds to meet our master, the eternal j jy and felicity which we 
shall receive that here confess him, here suffer with him, here lose any 
thing for his sake. 

If I did in any point so much as think, that you would defile your 
body in theantichristian service now used, then would I go about to set 
forth these things, briefly spoken, more at large. But as I said before, 
1 say again, because I am as well persuaded of you, my dearly beloved 
brother, as of any in your profession and state ; I cannot but pray 
God to make perfect, the good which he hath begun in you, and desire 
you, as you have begun in God, so to go forward. 

As your example hath done good to many, so cast not all down 
with a type. Terrible is that woe which Christ threateneth, to them by 
whom offences do come. You know that the way of salvation is 
straiter than men make it. You know the soul is to be considered 
above all things. Happy is the loss of that bodily life, liberty, and 
goods, by the which a spiritual life, freedom, and felicity is purchased. 
What should it profit a man to win the whole world and to lose his 
own soul? Who would desire a two years merry life for an eternal 
sorrow ? as these mass gospellers do, who yet are uncertain of two 

p 



106 



years life, and God knoweth what wounds their consciences have. 
Hard is it to recover health to the conscience ; and because I am 
careful for it to youwards, as to mine own brother, and dear friend, 
therefore 1 write thus. We are in God's power, and not in the power 
of our enemies; he it is that hath all our hairs numbered; before he 
say Amen, no man shall onc touch you. Into his hands commit 
yourself; cast your care on him, have a care to please him, and then 
he will care to keep you. You know the oath the Athenians did 
make; pugnabo pro sacris, et solus, et cum aliis ; which saying- of 
the heathen will be to your condemnation, if for his holy word and 
gospel's sake, we dare not adventure the loss of that he hath sent us, 
keepeth for us, and can when he will take away from us, or us from it. 

If worldly men dare jeopard a joint with God, rather than they 
would lose worldly things, as experienc teacheth ; certainly it should 
be much to our shame, who in baptism have vowed and solemnly 
sworn to forsake the world, if we dare not jeopard a joint with man, 
rather than we would lose a good conscience, and spiritual treasures. 
He that will not have God's blessing, it shall be taken from him, 
saith David. 

Therefore, my dearly beloved, beware ; you are now, the temple 
of the Holy Ghost; defile it not for the Lord's sake, but keep it pure, 
not only from all uncleanness of the spirit, but also of the flesh, (2 
Cor. vii.) as I trust you will ; and cry unto your father for his strength 
and aid, which I beseech him of his mercy, always to give unto you, 
my own good friend, even as I desire to myself. If in any thing I 
could help you, you may be assured thereof as of your brother. My 
prayer to God, night and day, you shall have, that for his holy name- 
sake he would bless you in all things and keep you, with my good 
sister your wife, unto the very end, as his dear elect children. Amen, 
Amen. From my lodging, you know where, this fifth of August. 
By your own to use in the Lord for ever, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



107 

No. 32.* 
To MASTER HUMPHREY HALES and his WIFE 



The everlasting and merciful God, our dear Father through 
Christ, be with you both, my most dearly and entirely beloved in the 
Lord, now and for ever. 

I cannot forbear but signify unto you both, that my heart is 
careful and heavy for the cross which is come upon you, by the heavy 
and fearful judgment of God fallen upon your father; justly for his 
denying of God for fear of men and love of these things, which he 
hath left behind him unto you and others. God grant his fact be so 
imprinted in the hearts of all men, especially of you both, that his 
fall may be unto you, I will not say a rising, for yet 1 trust ye are not 
fallen, but an establishing in the verity of God, whereof whoso is 
ashamed, shall at length feel such shame as I beseech God keep us 
all from. Happy are they that mark the judgments of God upon 
others, to come and increase in repentance Luke xiii. to fear God's 
wrath and judgments, which is always like himself, if we follow the 
steps of them, on whom he taketh punishment. 

I need not tell you the cause of this that hath happened unto your 
father, if it be as 1 with sorrow have heard. For you know well 
enough, that till he forsook God, gave ear to the serpent's counsel, 
began to mamber of the truth, and to frame himself outwardly to 
do that which his conscience reproved inwardly for that which be 
mingled with the love of God, I mean the love of the world, cannot 
be in any man without the expulsion of God's love till then, I say, 
God did not depart and leave him to himself, to the example of you 
and me, and all others ; that we should fear even ourselves and our 
own hands, more than man and all the powers of the world, if we 
therefore should do any thing, "which should wound our conscience. 

The conscience, I tell you, is soon wounded, yea sooner than we 
be aware of. The devil useth all kind of deceit to blind us from seeing 
that which might wound it: but when the stripe is given, then either 

* Cov. 312. 



108 

shutteth he still up our eyes with contempt to our hardening-, or else 
openeth them to bring us to utter despairing. In your father, as ye 
may see the latter, so in many worldly gospellers you may, if you will, 
see the other. God might deal with all such, as he hath done now 
with your father; but because the time of his judgment is not yet 
come, his wisdom hath thought good to set your father forth as an 
example to all men ; as lie did in the first world, Cain ; in the 
second world, Cham ; in the third age, Korah, &c. ; in Christ's time, 
Judas ; in the Apostles' time, Ananias, &c. ; although none will 
heartily consider it, but such as be God's children indeed. 

But here, in comparing your father thus, my dearly and 
unfeignedly beloved in the Lord, I must pray you not to be offended, 
or think that I do determinately judge, to God I leave all judgment, 
but because the fruit to us declared no less, to the admonishment of us 
all, I trust ye will accordingly consider my collation. For your parts 
as 1 think godly of you both, that indeed ye are both the children of 
God ; so I pray you comfort yourselves as David did, though his son 
Absalom perished so desperately, and though his father-in-law, 
Achitophel, father to Bathsheba, as the Hebrews write, perished so 
miserably. Ye know Jonathan was not the worse, because his father 
slew himself; nor Bathsheba, because of her father, Achitophel ; they 
both were the children of God, and so I am assured, as man can be, 
that ye are. As they used God's judgments upon their parents, so 
do ye, to fear God and love God the more, and to fly from those 
things, which in your father, ye did see displeased God. 

Oh, that I were with you but one half hour, not only with you to 
lament, but also as God should lend me his grace, to comfort you, 
who by this judgment doth tempt your patience and faith, to the 
comfort of you both, as you shall find, 1 am assured. My dear 
hearts in the Lord, if 1 could by any means comfort you, certainly 
if my life lay on .it, I think you should forthwith perceive it ; but 
because 1 can do no more than I can, therefore as I can, I do, that is, 
as to write, so to send this messenger, my good friend and brother 
with the same ; to learn certainly of the truth herein, and the condi- 
tion of your estate. My other letter was made before knew of 
this matter. I pray God this which by report I understand, be other- 
wise, but God's good will be done, who gives us patience and comfort 
in him. 



109 

To whom I commend you both, even as heartily as any friends I 
have in this life, of your estate. From my lodging- you know 
whore, this eight of August, Anno Domini, 1554. 

By your own, to use in the Lord for ever, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 33.* 

TO THE WORSHIPFUL, AND IN GOD MY MOST 
DEAR FRIEND, THE LADY VANE.t 



The good spirit of God our Father be more and more plentifully 
perceived of your good Ladyship, through the mediation and merits 
of our dear Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Although your benefits towards me have deserved at my hands the 
service I can do for you, yet, right worshipful and dearly beloved in 
the Lord, the true fear of God and the love of his truth, which I per- 
ceive to be in you, especially and above all other things, doth bind me 
hereunto. 

This bearer hath told me, that your desire is, to have something 
sent to you concerning the usurped authority of the supremacy of the 
Bishop of Rome, which is undoubtedly the great antichrist, of whom 
the apostles do so much admonish us ; that you may have as well 
something the more to stay you on, as also wherewith to answer the 
adversaries, because you may perchance therein be something aposed. 
To satisfy this your desire, I will briefly go about, and so that I will, 
by God's grace, fully set forth the same; to ensure you to withstand 
the assaults of the papists herein, if you mark well and read over 
again, that which I now write. 

The papists do place in pre-eminence over the whole church, the 
Pope, thereby unplacing Christ who is the head of the church, that 
giveth life to the whole body ; and by his spirit doth make lively every 

* Fox iii. 339. Cov. 403. t See Appendix, Note (Q.) 



110 

member of the same. This they do without all scriptures ; for where 
they bring in this spoken to Peter, " feed my sheep," I would gladly 
know whether this was not commanded unto others also? As for that 
which perchance they will urge, that he spoke to Peter by name, if 
they had any learning, they would easily perceive how thai it was not 
for any such cause as they pretend, but rather, by a threefold com- 
mandment, to restore to him the honour of an apostle, which he had 
iost by his threefold denial. 

And how dare they interpret these words, my sheep, my lambs, to 
be the universal ehurch of Christ? I trow a man might easily 
by the like reason, prove that Peter himself had resigned that which 
Christ had given to him, in exhorting his fellow-pastors to feed the flock 
of Christ. Is not this pretty stuff? Because Christ saith to Peter, 
feed my sheep, therefore he ought to rule the universal and whole 
Church of Christ. If Peter do truly write unto others that they 
should do the like, that is, feed Christ's flock, either he translateth his 
right and authority committed to him upon them, or else he doth par- 
ticipate and communicate it with them. So that foolishly they go 
about to establish that which hath no ground. 

Peter, indeed, was a shepherd of the sheep, but such a one as 
bestowed his labour on them, so far as he could stretch out himself 
by his ministry. But the papists prate that he had full power over 
all churches ; wherein they may see Paul to improve them, for else he 
had done unjustly in denying him the superior place. Howbeit, 
whoever yet read that Peter did take any thiag upon him, over 
churches committed unto other men? Was not he sent of the church, 
and sent as one not having rule over the rest? I grant that he was 
an excellent instrument of God, and for the excellency of his gifts, 
whensoever they met together, place therefore was commonly given 
unto him. But what is this to the purpose, to make him ruler and 
head over all the whole church, because he was so over a small 
congregation? 

But be it so, that Peter had as much given to him ! as they do 
affirm; who yet will grant that Peter had a patrimony given for his 
heirs? He hath left, say the papists, to his successors, the self same 
right which he received. Oh, Lord God, then must his successor be 
a satan ; for be received that title of Christ himself. I would gladly 



Ill 



have the papists to shew me one place of succession, mentioned in the 
scriptures. I am sure that when Paul purposely painteth out the 
whole administration of the church, he neither maketh one head, nor 
any inheritable primacy, and yet he is altogether in commendation 
of unity. After he hath made mention of one God the Father, of one 
Christ, and of one Baptism, then he describeth the mean and manner 
how unity is to be kept; namely, because unto every pastor is grace 
given, after the measure wherewith Christ hath endowed them. 
Where, I pray you, is now any title of plenitud'mis potestatis, of 
fulness of power? when he calleth home every one unto a certain 
measure, why did he not forthwith say, one pope? Which thing- 
he could not have forgotten, if the thing had been as the papists 
make it. 

But let us grant that perpetuity of the primacy in the church, was 
established in Peter, I would gladly know why the seat of the pri- 
macy should be rather at Rome, than elsewhere. Marry, say they, 
because Peter's chair was at Rome. This is even like to this, that 
because Moses the greatest prophet, and Aaron the first priest, 
exercised their offices unto their death in the desert; therefore the 
most principal place of th Jewish Church, should be in the 
wilderness. 

But grant them their reason, that it is good. What should 
Antioch claim? For Peter's chair was there also; wherein Paul 
gave him a check, which was unfeelingly and unmannerly done of 
Paul, that would not give place to his President and better. No, say 
the papists, Rome must have this authority, because Peter died there. 
But what, and if a man should by probable conjectures shew, that it 
is but a fable, which is feigned of Peter's Bishopric at Rome ? Read 
how Paul doth salute very many private persons, when he writeth to 
the Romans. Three years after his epistle made, he was brought to 
Rome prisoner. Luke telleth, that he was received of the brethren, 
and yet in all these, no mention at all of Peter, who then by their 
stories was at Rome. Belike he was proud, as the Pope and Prelates 
be, or else he would have visited Paul. Paul being in prison in 
Rome, did write divers epistles, in which he expresseth the names of 
many who were in comparison of Peter, but rascal personages, but 
of Peter he speaketh never a word. Surely if Peter had been there, 



112 

this silence respecting him had been suspicious. In the second 
epistle to Timothy, Paul complaineth, that no man was with him 
in his defence, but all had left him. If Peter had been then at 
Rome, as they write, then either Paul had belied him, or Peter had 
played his Peter's part. Luke xxiii. 

In another place how doth he blame all that were with him, only 
Timothy excepted ? Therefore we may well doubt whether Peter was 
at Rome, Bishop, as they prate; for all this time and long- before, they 
say that Peter was bishop there. 

But I will not stir up Coals in this matter. If Rome be the chief 
seat, because Peter died there, why should not Antioch be the second ? 
Why should not James and John, who were taken with Peter to be as 
pillars, why, I say, should not their seats have honour next to Peter's 
seat ? Is not this gear preposterous, that Alexandria where Mark, who 
was but one of the Disciples, was Bishop, should be preferred before 
Ephesus, where John the Evangelist taught and was Bishop, and before 
Jerusalem, where not only James taught and died Bishop, but also 
Christ Jesus our Lord and High Priest for ever ; by whom being 
master, I hope, honour should be given to his chair, more than to the 
chair of his chaplains. 

I need to speak nothing, how that Paul telleth Peter's apostleship, 
to concern rather circumcision or the Jews, and therefore properly 
pertaineth not to us. Neither do I need to bring in Gregory the sixth* 
Bishop of Rome, which was about the year of our Lord 600; who 
plainly in his works doth write, that this title of primacy, and to be 
head over all churches, under Christ, is a title meet and agreeing only 
to antichrist, and therefore he calleth it a prophane, a mischievous, 
and a horrible title.f Who should we believe now, if we will neither 
believe Apostle, nor Pope? 

If I should go about to tell how this name was first gotten by 
Phocas, I should be too long. I purpose, God willing, to set it forth 
at large in a work which I have begun of antichrist, if God for his 



* Not Gregory VI. but Gregory I., who was the sixth bishop of Rome, and is usually 

called Gregory the Great the author of the famous Pastoral Letters. 

t This declaration of Gregory's is to be found in Dupin's Ecclesiastical History, vol. T. 

in. Contre la Qualite de Patriarche t*iversel. 



113 

hiercy's sake, give the life to finish it. For this present therefore I 
shall desire your Ladyship to take this in good part. If they will 
needs have the Bishop of Rome to be acknowledged for the head of 
the churchy then will I urge them that they shall give us a Bishop. 
But they obtrude unto us a butcher rather, or a bitesheep, than a 
bishop. 

They brag of Peter's succession, of Christ's Vicar, this is always, 
in their mouth ; but alas, how can we call him Christ's Vicar that 
resisteth Christ, oppugneth his verity, persecuteth his people, and, 
like a prelate, preferreth himself before God and man? How, or 
wherein, do the Pope and Christ agree ? How supplieth he Peter's 
ministry that boasteth of his succession ? Therefore to begin withal, 
which I will use presently for a conclusion, if the papists will have the 
Bishop of Rome supreme head of the church of Christ in earth, they 
must afore they attain this, give us a Bishop in deed, and not in name. 
For whosoever he be that wrll make this the bond of unity, 
whatsoever the Bishop of Rome be ; surely this must needs follow, 
that they do nothing else but teach a most wicked defection and 
departing from Christ. But of this, if God lend me life, I purpose to 
speak more at large hereafter. 

Now, will 1 betake your Ladyship, unto the tuition of God our 
Father, and Christ our only head, pastor, and keeper, to whom see 
that you cleave by true faith, which dependeth only upon the word 
of God ; which if you do follow as a lantern to your feet, and a light 
to your steps, you shall then avoid darkness, and the dangerous deeps, 
whereinto the papists are fallen by the just judgment of God, and seek 
to bring us into the same danger with them, that the blind following 
the blind, they both may fall into the ditch. Out of the which God 
deliver them according to his good will, and preserve us for his 
name sake, that we being in his light may continue therein, and walk 
in it whilst it is day ; so shall the night never oppress us, we going 
from light to light, from virtue to virtue, from faith to faith, from 
glory to glory, by the governance of God's good spirit, which God 
our Father give unto us all, for ever and ever, Amen. 
From the King's Bench, 
Your Brother in bonds, for the testimony of Jesus Christ, 

JOHN BRADFORDE. 
Q 




TO HIS GOOD LADY VANE. 

The true sense and sweet feeling of God's eternal mercies in 
Christ Jesus, be ever more and more lively wrought in your heart by 
the Holy Ghost, Amen. 

I most heartily thank you, good Madam, for your comfortable 
letters, and whereas you would be advertised what were best to be 
done on your behalf, concerning your three questions : the truth is, 
that the questions are never well seen nor answered, until the thing 
whereof they enquire, be well considered : I mean until it be seen 
how great an evil the thing is. 

If it be once indeed in your heart perceived, upon probable and 
pithy places gathered out of God's book, that there was never thing 
upon the earth, so great and so much an adversary to God's true ser- 
vice, to Christ's death, passion, priesthood, sacrifice, and kingdom, to 
the ministry of God's word and sacraments, to the church of God, 
to repentance, faith, and all true godliness of life, as that is whereof 
the questionsf arise, as most assuredly it is indeed; then cannot a 
Christian heart but so much the more abhor it, and all things that in 
any point might seem to allow it, or any thing pertaining to the same, 
by how much it hath the name of God's service. 

Again, your Ladyship doth know, that as all is to be discom- 
mended and avoided, which is followed or fled from in respect of 
ourselves, in respect of avoiding Christ's Cross; so the end of all our 
doings should be to godwards, to his glory, to our neighbours, to 
edification and good example, whereof none can be given, in allowing 
any of the three questions by you propounded. But because this 
which 1 write now, is brief, and needeth the more consideration or 
example ; as I doubt not of the one in you, so from me by God's 
grace you shall receive the other shortly.} For I have already written 
a little book of it which I will send unto you, in the which you shall 

* Fox iii. 331. Cov. 334. 

t These qaestions were concerning the mass, wherein she desired his judgment. Cov. 83. 
j See an admonition and several letters upon this subject, post. 



115 

have your questions fully answered and satisfied, and therefore I omit 
to write any more hereabouts presently ; beseeching God our Father 
to guide you, as his dear child, with his spirit of wisdom, power, and 
comfort, unto eternal life, that you may be strong and rejoice in him 
and with his church, to carry Christ's Cross if he shall so think it 
need. 1. Peter i. which is a thing to be desired, wished, and 
embraced, if we looked on things after the judgment of God's word, 
and tried them by that touchstone. 

If you be accustomed to think on the brevity, vanity, and misery 
of this life, and on the eternity, truth, and felicity, of everlasting 
life ; if you look on things after their ends, and not after their 
present appearance only ; if you use yourself to set God's presence, 
power, and mercy, always before our eyes, to see them as God, by 
every creature, would you should ; I doubt not but you shall find such 
strength and comfort in the Lord, as you shall not be shaken with all 
the power of satan. God's mercy in Christ be with you, and his good 
spirit guide you for ever, Amen. 



No. 35.* 
TO THE LADY VANE. 



As to mine own soul, 1 wish to your Ladyship grace and mercy, 
from God our dear Father in Christ our Lord and Saviour. 

I thank God that something he hath eased you, and mitigated his 
fatherly correction in us both ; I would to God he had done so much, 
in the behalf of the grief of the body to you, as he hath done to me. 
For as for the soul, 1 trust you feel that which I pray God increase in 
you, I mean his fatherly love, and grant that I may with you feel the 
same in such degree as may please him ; I will not say as you feel, 
least I should seem to ask too much at one time. 

God doth often much more plentifully visit with the sense of his 

* Fox iii. 3W. Cev. 335. 



116 

mercy, them that humble themselves under his mighty hand, and are 
sore exercised, as you long have been ; than others, who to the face 
of the world, have more shew and appearance. Therefore I wish as 
I do, and that not only for mine own commodity, but also that I might 
occasion you to the consideration of the goodness of God, which I 
by your letters do well espy, which is indeed the high way whereby, 
as God encreaseth his gifts, so sheweth he more lively his salvation. 
Ps. L. Cvii. 

1 have received God's blessing from you, the which I have partly 
distributed unto my three fellow-prisoners, Master Ferrar, Master 
Taylor, Master Philpot ; and the residue I will bestow upon four poor 
souls, who are imprisoned in the common jail for religion also. As 
for mine own part, if I had had need, I would have served my turn 
also. But because I had not, nor, I thank God, have not, I have 
been and will be your almoner, in such sort as I have already 
advertised you. God reward you, and give you to find it spiritually 
and corporally. 

Because otherwise I cannot talk with you, therefore on this sort, 
as occasion and opportunity will serve, I am ready to show my good 
will and desire of your help and furtherance in the Lord to everlasting 
life, whereunto God bring us shortly for his mercy's sake, Amen. 

Good Madam, be thankful to God, as I hope you be, be earnest 
in prayer, continue in reading and hearipg God's word ; and if God's 
further cross come, as therein God doth serve his providence, for else 
it shall not come unto you, so be certain the same shall turn to your 
eternal joy and comfort, Amen. 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 36.* 
TO THE LADY VANE. 

The everlasting and most merciful God, which is the Father of 
our Saviour Jesus Christ, encrease in your Ladyship the knowledge 

* Cov. 336. 



: and love of his truth, with the gift of perseverance to continue 
therein to the end, Amen. 

Albeit at this present, I have no convenient leisure to write as 
should be seeming 1 to send to your personage, yet considering your 
gentle good will for God's cause towards me, I thought I might* be 
the more bold to write something, although not in such sort as I 
would, and perchance on your behalf might be looked for. 

I doubt not but that your Ladyship considereth often with 
yourself, that you are the child of God, and a citizen of heaven 
by Christ, in whom God the Father, before the world was made, hath 
chosen you of his own mere mercy, and not of your deserts done or 
to be done. That you should with thankfulness call this to mind 
often, thereby to excite and stir up yourself to the love of God in his 
sight, and to all holiness of life in the sight of man, many things should 
move and occasion you justly; as that you were born of Christian 
parents, that the name of God was called upon you in baptism, which 
is a sacrament of regeneration and adoption into the children of God, 
with all other benefits which hitherto you have received. 

Amongst which surely, your Ladyship should not think the 
least, even the cross that God hath hitherto exercised you withal ; as 
the loss of your good husband, lands, and other worldly commodi- 
ties, &c. But above all, next to Christ crucified, this is most thank- 
fully to be considered, that God, as he hath given you patience, I 
trust, in your trouble ; so in these dangerous days he hath given you a 
desire to know him, and to help them who for his sake be in trouble ; 
for this I gather and evidently see by your twice sending to me, who 
am not otherwise known to you but by name. I pray God I may be 
heartily thankful to him for you, and so dispose your benefits as )*ou 
desire. My best 1 will do by God's grace, but enough of this. 

My desire is, good Madam, although I have no doubt, as I said, 
but that you be diligent herein; that you would often call to mind 
your state before God, I mean how that you be his child through 
Christ; and this I would you did for divers causes. First, that you 
might be quiet in conscience before him in this troublesome world, 
as we never can be until this be something settled. Secondly, that 

* Mought. 



118 

you might be careful to appear in his sight, and in the sight of mao, 
as one of God's children. Thirdly, that you might in all troubles 
boldly by prayer through Christ, go to him and call him by the name 
of Father, with hope of his help always to your comfort. Fourthly, 
that you might not be dismayed if trouble come unto you, as it cannot 
be but more or less it must needs come ; for the world loveth none 
but such as be his ; the devil can never suffer the children of God to 
be quiet. 

1 will not speak of our mortal and familiar enemy the flesh, which 
ceaseth not to fight against the spirit. But God your father being 
heartily called upon, in and through Christ j as be will with his holy 
spirit help you, so will he give you the victory at the length to your 
singular comfort; which 1 pray God you may daily more and more 
feel, Amen. From the King's Bench in haste as appeareth. 
Your Ladyship's own in Christ to command, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 37.* 

TO HIS O\VN DEAR BROTHER, MASTER 
LAWRENCE SAUNDERS, 

Prisoner in the Marshalsea. 



God's sweet peace in Christ be with you, my good Brother in the 
Lord Jesus, and with all your concaptives, Amen. 

I was letted this morning from musing on that, which I was pur- 
posed to have thought on} by reason uf you, against whom 1 saw 
myself guilty of negligence even in this point, that I would not 
write, I should say, that 1 had not written unto you as yet. There- 
fore out of hand in manner I prepared myself to purge myself 



* Fox iii. 320. Cov. 310. 



119 

hereof; not that I will go about to excuse my fault, for that were 
more to load me, but by asking 1 both God and you pardon, to get it 
no more laid to my charge. Now, then, as I was thus purposing, and 
partly doing, cometh there one with a letter from you, for the which 
as I have cause to thank God and you, howbeit not so that you 
should think I give not the whole to God, so I see myself more 
blameworthy, for thus long holding my peace. 

Howbeit good brother, in this I have given a demonstration to 
you, to behold my negligence in all other things, and especially 
in praying for you and for the Church of God ; who for my sins 
and hypocrisy, hypocrisy indeed even in this writing, God deliver 
me from it, have deserved to be punished. 

Just is God, for we have deserved all kinds of plagues at his 
hands : but yet merciful is he that will on this wise chastise us with 
this world, ne cum mundo condemnemur. He might otherwise 
have punished us, I mean, he might have for other causes cast us 
into prison, me especially, than for his gospel and word's sake ; 
praised therefore be his name, which voucheth us worthy this honour. 
Ah, good God, forgive us our sins, and work by this thy fatherly 
correction on us, on me especially, effectually to love thee and thy 
Christ; and with joyfulness unto the end, to carry thy cross through 
thick and thin. Always set before our eyes, not this gallows on earth 
if we will stick to thee, but the gallows in hell if we deny thee, or 
swerve from that we have professed. 

Ah, good brother, if I could always have God, his majesty, mercy, 
heaven, hell, &c. before mine eyes, then should I obdurare as Paul 
writeth of Moses. Heb.xi. Obduravit, inquit, perinde quasi vidisset 
um qui est invisibilis. Pray for me, as I know you do, and give 
thanks also; for, in Domino spero non mutabo. Si ambulavero per 
vallem umbrae mortis, non timebo quia tu Domine mecum es, Amen. 
I think we shall be shortly called forth ; for now legern habent, 
et secundum legem, &c. otherwise will they not reason with us ; and 
I think their sheet anchor will be to have us to subscribe ; the which 
thing, if we do, though with this condition, so far as the thing sub" 
scribed to repugneth not against God's word, yet, this will be 
offensive. Therefore let us vadere plane, and so saws ; I mean, let us 
all confess that we are no changelings, but reipsa are the same 



120 

we were in religion, and therefore cannot subscribe, except we will 
dissemble both with God, ourselves, and the world. 

Hsectibi scribo, frater mi charissime in Domino, lam legam tuani 
epistolam. Ah, brother, that I had practicam tecum scientiam in 
vite ilia quam ping-is; roga Dominum ut ita vere sentiam, Amen. 
God make me thankful for you. Salutant te omnes concaptivi, et gra- 
tias Domino pro te agunt; idem tu facias pro nobis, et ores ut, &c. 
Your Brother, in the Lord Jesus, to live and die with you, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 38.* 
TO MASTER LAWRENCE SAUNDERS. 

My g'ood brother, I beseech our good God and gracious Father, 
always to continue his gracious favour and Iqve towards us, and by 
us, as by instruments of his grace, to work his glory, and confusion 
of his adversaries. Ex ore infantium et lactentium, fundet laudem 
ad destruendurn inimicum, See. Amen. 

I have perused your letters to myself and have read them to 
others. For answer whereof, if I should write what Dr. Taylor and 
Master Philpot do think, then must 1 say, that they think the salt 
sent unto us by your friend* is unseasonable. And indeed I think 
they both will declare it heartily, if they should crme before them. 

As for me, if you would know what I think, my good and most 
dear brother Laurence, because I am so sinful and so polluted, f the 
Lord knoweth I lie not, with many grievous sins, which yet I hope 
are washed away sanguine Christi nostri, I neither can nor would be 
consulted withal, but as a cipher in agrime. Howbeit to tell you how 
and what I mind, take this for a sum ; I pray God in no case I may 
seek myself. And, indeed, I thank God therefore, I purpose it 

* Fox iii. 320. Cov. 321. f Conspurcate. 

j This friend moved him to subscribe to the papists' articles with this condition, 
so far as they were not against God's word, being indeed clean contrary to it; and yet 
shortly after he valiantly suffered death, for refusing the same. Cov. 321. Fox 320. 



121 

not. Quod reliquum est Domino Deo meo committo, et spero iri 
ilium, quod ipse faciet juxta hoc: jacta in Dominum curam, &c. 
Omnis cura vestra conjecta sit in ilium, &c. Revela Domino viam 
tuam, et spera, &c. Sperantem in Domino misericordia circumdabit. 

I did not, nor do not know, but by your letters, quod eras, we 
shall come, coram nobis. Mine own heart, stick still to dabitur vobis : 
fidelis enim est Dominus, dabit in tentatione eventum quo possumus" 
sufferre. Novit Dominus pios e tentatione eripere, &c. O utinam pius 
ego essem. Novit Dominus in die tribulationis sperantes in se, &c. " 
Nahum i. 

I cannot think that they will offer any kind of indifferent, or mean 
conditions; for if we will not adorare bestiam, we never shall be 
delivered, but against their will, think I. God our Father and gracious 
Lord, make perfect the good he hath begun in us. Faciet mi frater, 
charissime frater, quern in intimis visceribus habeo ad convivendurri 
et commoriendum. () si tecum essem. Pray for me mine own heart- 
root in the Lord. 

For ever your own, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 39.* 

TO THE WORSHIPFUL SIR WILLIAM FITZ- 
WILLIAMS 5 t 

Then being Knight Marshal of the King's Bench. 



The peace of God proper to his people, the Holy Ghost work 
daily and deeply in your heart, through Jesus Christ our Lord, 
Amen. 

I thank my Lord and God, through his Son our Mediator and 
Saviour, for his mercies and graces given to your mastership, the 

* Cov. 386. 

t He was a good maii, and a lover of the gospel. Strype, Eccl. Mem. vol. iii. pt. 1. 224'. 

R 



which I beseech his goodness to increase in you continually, to your 
everlasting comfort in him. By his mercies towards you, I mean not 
in your lands, possessions, offices, natural wisdom, rights, health, form, 
&c. which indeed be gifts of God given to you of his mercy without 
your deserts, and therefore should HE be daily of you praised for the 
same, as I doubt not but he is; for else your ingratitude would pro- 
voke him to punish you in them and by them, if he love you. But 
I mean his mercies towards you, in the knowledge and love of his 
truth in religion. 

The which benefit in that you, amongst the not many of your 
estate and condition, as St. Paul witnesseth, have received as a very 
testimonial of your election in Christ, I would be sorry that you 
should need any such as I am, to move you to thankfulness; for I am 
not in a mammering whether you be thankful to God for this great 
mercy, which is much more to be esteemed than all that ever you 
have; I humbly beseech God in his Christ, to increase the same in 
you to the very end. And that by me he might do the same in some 
part, I thought it good and also my bounden duty, deeply deserved 
on your behalf towards me, for the which I beseech the Lord to 
reward you, to send to you this treatise* of the doings of Master 
Ridley at Oxford, concerning his disputation about the sacrament. I 
know that there have gone divers copies abroad, but none of them 
were, as I know this is; for I have translated it out of that copy in 
Latin which was corrected with his own hand, which came unto me 
not without his own consent, and therefore dare I be bold to say, that 
this hath not before been seen on this sort. 

In reading whereof you shall well see this I speak to be most 
true; and also that which causeth me to suppress commendations of 
the thing, the excellency and worthiness thereof I mean, because I 
think I cannot speak any thing so worthily, as undoubtedly these his 
doings do deserve. Unto your Mastership I send them as a token of 
my duty towards you, thereby to declare, that as you deserve much of 
me, so I would shew myself willing to recompense the same if I 
could ; but in that I cannot, and also your doing it simply in respect 
of GOD and his cause, I will according to your expectation leave the 



* This treatise is given by Fox at full length, vol. iii. 61. 



123 

recompense unto him, in the mean season praying him that of his 
goodness he would, as encrease the knowledge and love of his truth 
in you, so strengthen you after your vocation, both purely to walk 
and manfully to confess his gospel, if he shall think it needful to call 
you to that honour, for surely of all honours it is the greatest to suffer 
any thing for Christ's sake 

Most happy may that man think himself that hath any thing for 
his cause to lose. As he shall be sure to find for his own part eternal 
felicity and honour endless ; so shall his posterity, even temporally, 
prove this to be most true. For God's sake therefore, right worshipful 
Mir, consider well this gear, and weigh it not as the world and your 
mother-wit will move you to do, but as the word of God doth teach you ; 
there shall you see this I speak of, to be matter of much mirth, joy, and 
glory, though to the world it seem clean contrary. God's good spirit 
always guide you tohis glory, and give you the spirit of prayer, con- 
tinually to pray that God never further tempt you, than he will make 
you able to bear, Amen. 

In that this copy is not so fair written as 1 wish and would have 
had it, I shall desire you to consider where I am, and how I cannot 
have things so done as I would, and therefore you have it as may be, 
when it may not be as I would it were and should be. From the 
King's Bench. 

Your humble, 

JOHN BRADFORDE. 



No. 40.* 

TO MRS. M. H. 

A godly gentlewoman, comforting her in that common heaviness 
and godly sorrow, which the feeling and sense of sin worketh 
in God's children. 

I humbly and heartily pray the everliving good God and father 
of mercy, to bless and keep your heart and mind in the knowledge 

* Fox iii. 327. Cov. 296. 



124 

and love of his truth, and of his Christ, through the inspiration and 
working of the Holy Spirit, Amen. 

Although I have no doubt, but that you prosper and go forwards 
daily in the way of godliness, more and more drawing towards per- 
fection, and have no need of any thing that I can write, yet because 
my desire is, that you might be more fervent and persevere to the end ; 
I could not but write something unto you, beseeching you both often 
and diligently, to call unto your mind as a mean to stir you hereunto, 
yea, as a thing which God most straitly requireth you to believe, that 
you are beloved of God, and that he is your dear father in, through, 
and for Christ and his death's sake. This love and tender kindness 
of God towards us in Christ is abundantly herein declared, in that he 
hath to the godly work of creation of this world, made us after his 
image, redeemed us being lost, called us into his church, sealed us 
with his mark and sign manual of baptism, kept and conserved us 
all the days of our life ; fed, nourished, defended, and most fatherly 
chastised us ; and now hath kindled in our hearts the sparkles of his 
fear, faith, love, and knowledge of his Christ and truth ; and therefore 
we lament, because we lament no more our unthankfulness, our 
failings, our diffidence, and wavering, in things wherein we should be 
most certain. 

All these things we should use, as means to confirm our faith of 
this, that God is our God and Father, and to assure us that he loveth 
us as our father in Christ ; to this end, t say, we should use the things 
before touched, especially in that of all things God requireth this 
faith and persuasion of his fatherly goodness, as his chiefest service. 
For before he ask any thing of us, he saith ; I am the Lord thy God, 
giving himself, and then all he hath to us, to be our own. And this 
he doth in respect of himself, of his own mercy and truth, and not 
in respect of us, for then were grace no grace. In consideration 
whereof, when he saith, Thou shall have none other Gods but me, 
thou shalt love me with all thy heart, Sec. ; though of duty we are 
bound to accomplish all that he requireth, and are culpable and guilty 
if we do not the same ; yet he rrquireth not these things further of 
us, than to make us more in love, and more certain of this his cove- 
nant, that he is our Lord and God. In certainty whereof, as he hath 
given this whole world to serve to our need and commodity, so hath 



125 



he given his Son Christ Jesus, and in Christ, himself to be a pledge 
and gage, whereof the Holy Ghost doth no\v and then, give us some 
taste and sweet smell to our eternal joy. 

Therefore, as I said, because God is your Father in Christ, and 
requireth of you straitly to believe it, give yourself to obedience, 
although you do it not with such feeling as you desire. First, must 
faith go before, and then feeling will follow. If our imperfection, 
frailty, and many evils, should be occasions whereby satan would 
have us to doubt, as much as we can Jet us abhor that suggestion, as 
of all others most pernicious ; for so indeed it is. For when we stand 
in a doubt whether God be our Father, we cannot be thankful to God, 
we cannot heartily pray, or think any thing we do acceptable to 
God ; we cannot love our neighbours, and give over ourselves to care 
for them, and do for them as we should do; and therefore satan is 
most subtle hereabouts, knowing full well that if we doubt of God's 
fatherly eternal mercies towards us through Christ, we cannot please 
God, or do any thing as we should do to man. Continually casteth 
he into our memories our imperfection, frailty, falls, and offences, that 
we should doubt of God's mercy and favour towards us. 

Therefore, my good Sister, we must not be sluggish herein, but 
as satan laboureth to loosen our faith, so must we labour to fasten it, 
by thinking on the promises and covenant of God in Christ's Blood, 
namely, that God is our God with all that even he hath ; which cove- 
nant dependeth and hangeth upon God's own goodness, mercy, and 
truth only; and not on our obedience or worthiness in any point, for 
then should we never be certain. Indeed God requireth of us 
obedience and worthiness, but not that thereby we might be his 
children and he our father ; but because he is our father and we his 
children, through his own goodness in Christ, therefore requireth he 
faith and obedience. Now if we want this obedience and worthiness 
which he requireth, should we doubt whether he be our father ? Nay, 
that were to make our obedience and worthiness the cause, and so to 
put Christ out of place, for whose sake God is our Father. But rather 
because he4s our Father, and we feel ourselves to want such things as 
he requireth, we should be stirred up to a shamefacedness and 
blushing, because we are not as we should be ; and thereupon should 
we take occasion to go to our Father in prayer on this manner. 



126 

4 Dear Father, thou of thine own mercy in Christ, hast chosen me 
to be thy child, and therefore thou wouldest I should be brought 
into thy church, and faithful company of thy children, wherein thou 
hast kept rne hitherto, thy name therefore be praised. Now I see 
myself to want faith, hope, love, &c. which thy children have, and 
thou requires! of me, wherethrough the devil would have me to 
doubt, yea utterly to despair of thy fatherly goodness, favour, and 
mercy. Therefore I come to thee as to my merciful father through 
thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and pray thee to help me good Lord, help 
me and give me faith, hope, love, &c. and grant that thy Holy Spirit 
may be with me for ever, and more and more to assure me that thou 
art my father ; that this merciful covenant thou madest with me in 
respect of thy grace, in Christ and for Christ, and not in respect of 
any my worthiness, is always true to me, &c.' 

On this sort, I say, you must pray and use your cogitations, when 
satan would have you to doubt of salvation. He doth all he can to 
prevail herein; do you all you can, to prevail herein against him. 
Though you feel not as you would, yet doubt not, but hope beyond 
all hope, as Abraham did. Faith, always, as I said, goeth before 
feeling. As certain as God is Almighty, as certain as God is merciful, 
as certain as God is true, as certain as Christ was crucified, is risen, 
and sitteth on the right hand of the Fatl>er; ascertain as this is 
God's commandment, I am the Lord thy God; so certain ought you to 
be that God is your Father. As you are bound to have none other 
Gods but him, so are you no less bound to believe that God is yonr 
God. What profit should it be to you to believe this to be true ; 1 am 
the Lord thy God, to others, if you should not believe that this is 
true lo yourself? The devil believeth on this sort. And whatsoever 
it be that would move you to doubt of this, whether God be your God 
through Christ, that same cometh undoubtedly of the devil. Where- 
fore did God make you, but because he loved you ? Might not he have 
made you blind, dumb, deaf, lame, frantic, &c.? Might not he have 
made you a Jew, a Turk, a Papist, &c. ? And why hath he not done 
so? Verily, because he loved you. And why did he love you? 
What was there in you to make him to love you? Surely nothing 
moved him to love you, and therefore to make you, and so hitherto to 
keep you, but his own goodness in Christ. Now then in that his 



127 

goodness in Christ still remaineth as much as it was; that is, even as 
great as himself, for it cannot be lessened, how should it be but that 
he is your God and Father? Believe this, believe this, my good Sister, 
for God is no changeling, them whom he loveth he loveth to the end. 

Cast, therefore yourself wholly upon him, and think without all 
wavering that you are God's child, that you are a citizen of heaven, 
that you are the daughter of God, the temple of the Holy Ghost, &c. 
If hereof you be assured, as you ought to be, then shall your con- 
science be quieted, then shall you lament more and more, that you 
want many things which God loveth ; then shall you labour to be holy 
in soul and body, then shall you go about that God's glory may shine 
in all your words and works ; then shall you not be afraid what 
man can do unto you, then shall you have such wisdom to answer 
your adversaries, as shall serve to their shame and your comfort ; then 
shall you be certain that no man can touch one hair of your head, 
further than shall please your good Father to your everlasting joy; 
then shall you be most certain that God as your good Father, will be 
more careful for your children, and make better provision for them, if 
all you have were gone, than you can ; then shall you, being assured, 
I say, of God's favour towards you, give over yourself wholly to help 
and care for others that be in need ; then shall you contemn this life, 
and desire to be at home with your good and sweet Father; then 
shall you labour to mortify all things that would spot either soul or 
body. All these things spring out of this certain persuasion and 
faith, that God is our Father, and we are his children by Christ 
Jesus. All things should help our faith herein ; but satan goeth 
about in all things to hinder us. 

Therefore let us use earnest and hearty prayer; let us often 
remember this covenant, I am the Lord thy God ; let us look upon 
Christ and his precious blood, shed for the obsignation and confirma- 
tion of his covenant. Lei us remember all the free promises of the 
gospel: let us set before us God's benefits generally in making this 
world, in ruling it, in governing it, in teaching and keeping his 
church, 8cc. Let us set before us God's benefits particularly, how he 
hath made us creatures after his image; how he hath made us of 
perfect limbs, form, beauty, memory, &c. ; how he hath made us 
Christians, and given us a right judgment in his religion ; how he 



128 

hath ever since we \ve e born, blessed, kept, nourished, and defended 
us; how he hath often beaten, chastised, and fatherly corrected us; 
how he hath spared us, and doth now spare us, giving us time, space, 
place, grace. This if you do, and use earnest prayer, and so fly from 
all things which might wound your conscience, giving yourself to 
diligence in your vocation ; you shall find at the length that, which 
God grant to me with you, a sure certainty of salvation, without all 
such doubt as may trouble the peace of conscience, to your eternal 
joy and comfort, Amen, Amen. 

Your's to use in Christ, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 41.* 

TO THE SAME PERSON, FULL OF GODLY 
COMFORT. 

The good spirit of God which guideth his children, be with you, 
my good Sister in the Lord for ever, Amen. 

Although, as I to you, so you unto me in person are unknown, 
yet to him whom we desire to please, we are not only in persons, but 
also in hearts known and thoroughly seen. And therefore, as for 
his sake, you would by that you sent, of me be perceived how that in 
God you bear to me a good will ; so, that I to you might be seen in 
God, to bear you the like, 1 send to you these few words in writing, 
wishing that in all your doings and speech, yea even in your very 
thoughts, you would labour to feel that they are all present and open 
before the sight of God* be they good or bad. This cogitation often 
had in mind, and prayer made to God for the working of his spirit, 
thereby as a mean, you shall at the length feel more comfort and 
commodity, than any man can know but such as be exercised 
therein. Howbeit this is to be added, that in thinking yourself and 
all that you have, and do, to be in the sight of God: this, I say, is 

* Fox iii. 329. Cov. 303. 



129 

to be added that you think his sight is the sight, not only of a 
Lord, but rather of a father, who tendereth more your infirmities, 
than you can tender the infirmities of any your children. Yea, when 
in yourself, you see a motherly affection to your little one that is 
weak ; let the same be unto you a trace, to train you to see the 
unspeakable kind affection, of God your Father towards you. 

And therefore upon the consideration of your infirmities and 
natural evils, which continually cleave unto us, take occasion to go to 
God as your Father, through Christ, and before his merciful heart lay 
open your infirmities and evils, with desire of pardon and help after 
his good will and pleasure, but in his time and not when you will, 
and by what means he will, not by that way you would ; in the 
mean season hang on hope of his fatherly goodness, and surely you 
shall never be ashamed. For if a woman that is natural cannot 
finally forget the child of her womb, be sure God, who is a father 
supernatural, cannot, nor will not forget you. Yea, if a woman could 
be so forgetful, yet God himself saith, he will not be so. 

This opinion, yea rather certain persuasion of God your Father 
through Christ, see that you cherish ; and by all means, as well of 
diligent consideration of his benefits, as of his loving corrections, 
whether they be inward or outward, see that you nourish ; knowing 
for certain that as the devil goeth about nothing so much, as to bring 
you in a doubt, whether you be God's child or no; so whatsoever 
shall move you to admit that dubitation, be assured the same to come 
from the devil. If you feel in yourself not only the want of good 
things, but also plenty of evil, do not therefore doubt whether you be 
God's child in Christ or no. 

For if for your goodness, or illness sake, which you feel or feel 
not, you should believe or doubt, then should you make Christ Jesus, 
for whose sake only God is your Father, either nothing, or else but a 
half Christ. 

But rather take occasion of your wants in good, and of your 
plenty in evil, to go to God as to your Father, and to pray him 
that inasmuch as he commandeth you to believe that he is your 
God and Father, so he would give you his good spirit, that you might 
feel the same, and live as his child to his glory. And cease not upon 

s 



130 

such prayers, to look for comfort in GocTs good time, still hoping the 
best, and rejecting all dubitation, and so all evil works, words, and 
cogitations, as the Lord shall enable you by his good spirit and grace; 
which I beseech him to give unto you my good Sister for ever. 

And further 1 pray you, that as he hath made you to be a helper 
unto your husband, so you would endeavour yourself therein to 
shew the same as well in soul as body: and beg grace of God, that 
your endeavours may be effectual to both your comforts in Christ. 
Amen. 

JOHN BRADFORDE. 



No. 42.* 
TO HIS GOOD SISTER, M. H. 



The peace of God, with increase of faith, and feeling of his 
mercy to your comfort in Christ, the Holy Ghost wake in your heart, 
now and for ever, Amen. 

As it is much to my comfort that God hath given you such a 
love and zeal to his truth ; so I exhort you, my good Sister, diligently 
to labour, as by continual reading and meditation of God's holy 
word, so by earnest prayer and other godly exercises, to maintain and 
encrease the same; that by the feeling of God's gracious spirit 
working in you such good fruits as witnesses of your faith, you may 
grow in strength thereof, and certainty of God's favour, and good will 
towards you. 

For above all things, of this I would have you to be most assured, 
that you are beloved of God ; that you are his dear child, and shall 
be for evermore through Christ, in whom you are by faith, and he in 
you. Out of this certainty, the cause whereof is God's own good- 
ness, grace, and truth, springeth true love, and loving fear, and 

Cov. 426. 



131 

obedience to God continually, and in all thing's. Where it is, I mean 
this faith, certainty, and persuasion of God's eternal goodness to you 
in Christ, there no sins are imputed to you, or laid to your charge to 
condemnation, nor shall be: though for correction sake, now and 
then, your heavenly father visit them fatherly, or rather you for them. 
Where it is not, there is nothing 1 , be it never so well done, that 
pleaselh God. 

Labour therefore for this certainty of faith, through Christ. 
Whensoever you doubt, you heap sin upon sin. If satan, your con- 
science, or God's law, do accuse you, confess your fault, and hide it 
not before the Lord. But when they would infer, that because of 
your sin, you are condemned, you are cast away; then answer them 
that it is but their office to accuse and witness, not to give 
sentence and judge; it only appertaineih to God to give judg- 
ment. Paul saith, it is God that absolveth, who then shall 
condemn us? 

God himself promiseth, before he demand any thing of us, that 
he is our Lord and our God ; and are not they happy who have the 
Lord for their God ? Is he God to any whose sins he remitteth not ? 
Through Christ he is our Father, and therefore we are commanded so 
to call him ; and can there want any fatherly kind ness in him towards 
us, who be his children ? No, verily. Therefore, be sure, and waver 
not of God's love and favour towards you in Christ. The cause of 
his love is his own goodness and mercy; this lasting for ever, his 
love lastcth for ever. How can you then but be quiet and happy ? 
Use this gear to comfort the weak conscience, and not to unbridle the 
mighty affections of the flesh, or old Adam, which must have other 
meat. 

Your own in the Lord, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



132 

No. 43.* 

TO A FAITHFUL WOMAN 

In her heaviness and trouble; most comfortable for all those that 
are afflicted and broken hearted, for their sins. 

Ah, my dearly beloved, and most dearly beloved in the Lord, 
how pensive is my heart presently for you by reason of the fearful 
judgment of our God, xvhich even now 1 heard for truth by Richard 
Proude. God, our good Father, for his great mercies' sake in 
Christ, have mercy upon us ; and with his eternal consolation so com- 
fort you, my dear heart, as I desire, in my most need, so to be 
comforted of him. Yea, he will comfort you (my dear Sister) only 
cast your care upon him, and he never can nor will forsake you, 
Amen. 

The cause why since the receipt of your letter, 1 have not 
sent unto you, this bringer can tell you; yea if 1 had not heard for 
truth of this heavy chance, as yet you had not thus soon heard from 
me. For I began of late a piece of work for your comfort, whereof I 
send you now but a part, because my heart is heavy for your sake, and 
I cannot be quiet till I hear how you do in this cross, wherein, my 
dear Sister, I beseech you to be of good comfort, and to be no more 
discouraged than was David at Absalom's death ; the good Jonathan 
at his father Saul's fearful end; Adam at that of Cain; Noah of 
Cham: Jacob of Reuben, and the godly Bathsheba, at the terrible 
end of her father, oral least her grandfather, Achitophel. 

Not that I utterly condemn and judge your Father,f for I leave it 
to God, but because the fact, of itself, declaretli God's secret and fear- 
ful judgment and justice, towards him and all men, and his great 
mercy towards us. admonishing all the world how that he is to be 
dreaded and feared, and satan not to sleep; and as his children, 
especially, how weak and miserable we be of ourselves, and how happy 
we are in him, who have him to be our father, protector, and keeper 
and shall live for evermore, so that no evil shall touch us, further than 
shall make to our father's glory, and to our everlasting commodity. 

* Fox iii. 329. Cov. 322. 
f This was most probably written to a daughter of Sir James Hales. 



133 



And therefore let this judgment of God, be an occasion to stir us 
up, more carefully to walk before God, and unfeignedly to cast our 
whole care upon our dear Father, who never can nor will leave us, 
for his calling- and gifts be such, that he can never repent him of them. 
Rom. xi. Whom lie loveth, he loveth to the end ; none of his chosen 
can perish ; of which number 1 know you are, my dearly beloved 
Sister. God increase the faith thereof daily more and more in you; 
may he give unto you to hang 1 wholly on him, and on his providence 
and protection : for whoso dwelleth under that secret thing 1 , and 
help of the Lord, he shall be cocksure for evermore. He that dwelleth, 
I say ; for if we be flitters and not dwellers, as was 'Lot a flitter from 
Segor,* where God promised him protection, if he had dwelled there 
still; we shall remove to our loss, as he did into the mountains. 
Gen. xix. 

Dwell therefore, that is, trust, and that finally unto the end, in the 
Lord, (my dear Sister) and you shall be as Mount Sion. As moun- 
tains compass Jerusalem, so doth the Lord all his people. How then 
can he forget you, which are as the apple of his eye, for his dear 
Son's sake ? Ah, dear heart, that I were now but one half hour with 
you, to he a Simon to help to carry your cross with you ; God send 
you some good Simon, to be with you and help you. I will be a 
Simon absent to carry, as 1 can bear, your cross, which you have pro- 
mised not to hide from me ; Oh, that God would heartily touch your 
husband's heart, so that he would get him beyond the seas, although 
by that means I should never more corporally see you, as indeed I 
fear it, I fear it, but God's good will be done. I have written to him, 
God for his mercy's sake turn it to your and his good, Amen. 

But to come again to that whence 1 have digressed, whereunto you 
occasion me also by your letters, complaining to me of the blindness 
of your mind, and of the troubles you feel through talk with some. 

My dearly beloved, God make you thankful for that which 
God hath given unto you ; may he open your eyes to see what 
and how great benefits you have received, that you may be less 
covetous or rather impatient, for so (1 fear me) it should be called, 
and more thankful. Have you not received at his hands sight to see 
your blindness, and thereto a desirous and seeking heart to see where 
he lieth in the mid-day, as his dear spouse speaketh of herself in the 

* The City Zoar is so written in the Vulgate. 



134 

Canticles? Oh, Joyce, my good Joyce, what a gift is this? Many 
have some sight, but none this sobbing- and sighing-, none this 
seeking 1 which you have, 1 know, bt such as he hath married unto- 
him in his mercies. You are not content to kiss his feet with the 
Magdalen, but you would be kissed even with the kiss of his month, 
Canticles \. You would see his face with Moses, forgetting how he 
biddeth us seek his face. Psalm xxvii. Yea, and that tor ever. 
Psalm cv. Which signifieth BO such sight as you desire, to be in this 
pre>ent life, which would see God now face to face; whereas he 
cannot be seen, but covered under something, yea, sometime in that 
which is (as you would say) clean contrary to God; as to see his 
mercy in his auger. In bringing us to hell, faith seeth him to bring 
us to heaven; in darkness it beholdeth brightness; in hiding Ins 
face from us, it beholdeth his merry countenance. How did Job see 
God, but (as you would say) under satac's cloak? For, who cast the 
fire from heaven upon his goods ? who overthrew his house, am} 
stirred up men to take away his cattle, but satan? and yet Job pierced 
through all these, and saw God's work, saying, The Lord hath 
given, the Lord hath taken away, ;c. 

In reading of the psalms how often do you see that David, in the 
shadow of death, saw God's sweet love? And so, my dearly 
beloved, I see that you in your darkness anil dimness, by faith do see 
clarity and brightness. By faith, I say, because faith is of things 
absent, of things hoped for, of things which I appeal to your con- 
science, whether you desire or not. And can you desire any thing 
which you know not ? And is there of heavenly things any other 
true knowledge than by faith? 

Therefore (my dear heart) be thankful, for (before God I write it) 
you have great cause. Ah, my Joyce, how happy is the state 
therein you are? Verily you are even in the blessed state of God's 
children; for they mourn, and do r.ot you so? And that not for the 
worldly weal, but for spiritual riches, faith, hope, charity, &c. Do you 
not huuger and thirst for righteousness? And 1 pray you, saith not 
Christ who cannot lie, tlvat happy are such? How should God wipe 
away the tears from your eyes in heaven, if now on earth ye shed no 
tear>? How could heaven bo a place of re^t, if on earth ye find it ? 
How could ye desire to be at home, if in yoar joiuney you found no 



135 



grief? How could you so often call upon God, and talk with him, as 
I know you do, if your enemy should sleep ail tlie day long? How 
should you elsewhere be made like unto Christ, I mean in joy, if in 
sorrow you sobbed not with him? If you will have joy and felicity, 
you must first needs feel sorrow and misery. If you will go to heaven, 
you must sail by hell. If you would embrace Christ in his robes, 
you must not think scorn of him in his rags. If you would sit at 
Christ's table in his kingdom, you must first abide with him in his 
temptations. If you will drink of his cup of glory, forsake not his 
cup of ignominy. 

Can the head corner stone be rejected, and the other more base 
stones in God's building be in this world set by? You are one of his 
lively stones; be content therefore to be hewn and snagged at, th;t 
you might be made more meet to be joined to your fellows, which 
suffer with you satan's snatches, the world's wounds, contempt of 
conscience, and threats of the flesh, wherethrough they are enforced 
to cry, Oh wretches that we are, who shall deliver us ? You are of 
<jod'scorn, fear not therefore the flail, the fan, millstone, nor oven. 
You are one of Christ's lambs, look therefore to be fleeced, haled at, 
and even slain. 

If you were a market-sheep, you should go in more fat and 
grassy pasture. If you were for the fair, you should be stall-fed, 
and want no weal. But because you are of God's own occupying, 
therefore you must pasture on the bare common, abiding the storms 
and tempests that will fall. Happy, and twice happy are you (my 
dear Sister) that God haleth you whither you would not, that you 
might come whither you would. Suffer a little and be still. Let satan 
rage against you, let the world cry out, let your conscience accuse 
you, let the law load you and press you down, yet shall they not 
prevail, for Christ is Emanuel, that is, God with us. If' God 
be with *, who can be against" us f The Lord is with you; 
your Father cannot forget you; your spouse loveth you. If the 
waves and surges arise, cry with Peter, Lord, I perish; and he will 
put out his hand and help you. Cast out your anchor of hope, and 
it will not cease for all the stormy surgc-s, till it take hold on the rock 
of God's truth and mercy. 



136 

Think not that he who hath given you so many thing's corporally, 
as inductions of spiritual and heavenly mercies, and that without your 
deserts or desire, can deny you any spiritual comfort, desiring 1 it. For 
if he give to desire, he will give you to have and enjoy the thing- 
desired. The desire to have, and the going about to ask, ought to 
certify your conscience, that they he his earnest of the thing which, 
you asking, he will give you ; yea, before you ask, and whilst you are 
about to ask, he will grant the same, as Isaiah saith, to his glory and 
your eternal consolation. He that spared not his own Son for you, 
will not, nor cannot think any thing too good for you, my heartily 
beloved. 

If he had not chosen you (as most certainly he hath) he would 
not have so called you ; he would never have justified you ; he would 
never have so glorified you with his gracious gifts, which I know, 
praised be his name therefore ; he would never have so exercised 
your faith with temptations, as he hath done and doth ; if (I say) he 
had not chosen you. If he hath chosen you (as doubtless dear heart, 
he hath done in Christ, for in you I have seen his earnest, and before 
me and to me you could not deny it, I know both where and when) 
if, I say, he hath chosen you, then neither can you nor ever shall you 
perish: for if you fall, he putteth under his hand. You shall not lie 
still ; so careful is Christ your keeper over you. Never was mother 
so mindful over her child, as he is over you, and hath not he always 
been so? 

Speak, woman, when did he finally forget you? And will he 
now, trow you, in your most need do otherwise, you calling upon him, 
and desiring to please him? Ah (my Joyce) think you God to be 
mutable? Is he a changeling? Doth not he love to the end them 
whom he loveth ? Are not his gifts and calling such, that he cannot 
repent him of them? For else were he no God. If you should 
perish, then wanted he power; for I am certain his will towards you 
is not to be doubted of. Hath not the spirit, which is the spirit of 
truth told you so ? And will you now hearken with Eve to the lying 
spirit, which would have you, not to despair (no, he goeth more craftily 
to work, howbeit to that end, if you should give ear unto it, which 
God forbid) but to doubt and stand in a mammering, and so should 



137 

you never truly love God, but serve him of a servile fear, lest he 
should cast you off for your unworthiness and unthankfulness ; as 
though your thankfulness or worthiness were any cause with God, 
why he hath chosen you or will finally keep you. 

Ah, mine own dear heart, Christ only, Christ only, and his mercy 
and truth. In him is the cause of your election. This Christ, this 
mercy, this truth of God remaineth for ever, is certain for ever; I 
say, for ever. If an angel from heaven should tell you the contrary, 
accursed be he. Your thankfulness and worthiness are fruits and 
effects of your election ; they are no causes. These fruits and effects 
shall be so much more fruitful and effectual, by how much you waver 
not. 

Therefore (my dearly beloved) arise, and remember from whence 
you are fallen. You have a shepherd who never slumbereth nor 
sleepeth; no man nor devil can pull you out of his hands. Night 
and day he commandethhis angels to keep you. Have you forgotten 
what I read to you out of the psalms, the Lord is my shepherd, I can 
want nothing. Do you not know that God sparred* Noah in the ark on 
the outside, so that he could not get out? So hath he done to you 
(my good Sister), so hath he done to you. Ten thousand shall fall 
on your right hand and twenty thousand on your left, yet no evil shall 
touch you. Say boldly therefore, many a time from my youth up 
have they fought against me, but they have not prevailed ; no, nor 
never shall prevail, for the Lord is round about his people. And who 
are the people of God but such as hope in him ? Happy are they that 
hope in the Lord, and you are one of those, my dear heart, for I am 
assured you have hoped in the Lord ; I have your words to shew most 
manifestly, and 1 know they were written unfeignedly. I need not 
to say, that even before God you have simply confessed to me, and 
that oftentimes, no less. And if once you had this hope, as you doubt- 
less had it, though now you feel ft not, yet shall you feel it again ; 
for the anger of the Lord lasteth but a moment, but his mercy 
lasteth for ever. Tell me (my clear heart) who hath so weakened 
you ? Surely not a persuasion which came from him who called 
you. For why should you waver and be so heavy hearted ? Whom 
look you on ? On yourself? On your worthiness? On your thank- 

* Shut-up. Sax. 



138 

fulness ? On that which God requireth of you ; as faith, hope, love, 
fear, joy, &c. ? Then can you not but waver indeed : for what have 
you as God requireth ? Believe you, hope you, love you, &c. as much 
as you should do ? No, no, nor ever can in this life. Ah, my dearly 
beloved, have you so soon forgotten that which ever should be had 
in memory? Namely, that when you would and should be certain 
and quiet in conscience, then should your faith burst throughout all 
things; not only that you have in you, or else are in heaven, earth, or 
hell, until it come to Christ crucified, and the eternal sweet mercies 
and goodness of God in Christ? Here, here is the resting place: 
here is your spouse's bed ; creep into it, and in your arms of faith 
embrace him. Bewail your weakness, your unworthiness, your diffi- 
dence, &c. and you shall see he will turn to you. What said I, you shall 
see? Nay, 1 should have said, you shall feel he will turn to you. 
You know that Moses, when he went into the mount to talk with God, 
entered into a dark cloud; and Elijah had his face covered wlien 
God passed by. Both these dear friends of God heard God, but 
they saw him not; but you would be preferred before them. See 
now (my dear heart) how covetous you are. Ah ! be thankful, be 
thankful. But God be praised your covetousness is Moses' covetous- 
ness. Well, with him you shall be satisfied: But when? Forsooth 
when he shall appear. Here is not the time of seeing, but as it were, 
in a glass. Isaac was deceived, because he was not content with hearing 
.only. 

Therefore to make an end of these many words, wherewith I fear 
me I do but trouble you from better exercises; inasmuch as you are 
indeed the child of God, elect in Christ before the beginning of all 
times; inasmuch as you are given to the custody of Christ, as one of 
God's most precious jewels; inasmuch as Christ is faithful, and 
thereto hath all power, so that you shall never perish; no, one hair 
of your head shall not be lost : I beseech you, I pray you, I desire 
you, I crave at your hands with all my very heart ; I ask of you with 
hand, pen, tongue and mind, in Christ, through Christ, for Christ, 
for his name, blood, mercies, power, and truth's sake (my most 
entirely beloved Sister) that you admit no doubting of God's final 
mercies towards you, howsoever you feel yourself; but complain 
to God, and crave of him, as of your tender and dear Father, all 
things; and in that time which shall be most opportune, you shall 



139 

find and feel, far above that your heart, or the heart of any creature 
can conceive, to your eternal joy. Amen, Amen, Amen. 

The good Spirit of God always keep us as his dear children ; 
may he comfort you, as I desire to be comforted, rny dearly beloved, 
for evermore. Amen. The good spirit of God always keep us as 
his dear children, he comfort you, as I desire to be comforted, my 
dearly beloved, for evermore. Amen. I break up thus abruptly, 
because our common prayer time calleth me. The peate of Christ 
dwell in both our hearts for ever. Amen. 

As for the report of W. P , if it be as you hear, you must prepare 
to bear it. It is written on heaven's door, Do zw//, and hear evil. 
Be content therefore to hear whatsoever the enemy shall imagine to 
blot you withal. God's Holy Spirit always comfort and keep you, 
Amen, Amen. This eight of August, by him that in the Lord 
desireth to you, as well and as much felicity, as to his own heart. 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 44.* 

TO MRS. J. H. 

A faithful woman, and fearing God, whom he txhorteth to be 
patient under the cross, and not to fear death. 



My dearly beloved, I beseech our merciful Father to comfort your 
heavy and pensive heart, with his own consolations in Christ; as I 
am assured he will in his own good time; which with patience look 
for, good Sister, after the example of Job, Klias, Abraham, and all 
the dear saints of God, who are set forth unto us for patterns^ of 
patience. God grant us well to cut our cloth after them, for God is 
the same God now, and the end will shew that he is a merciful Lord, 
and full of compassion. My dear Sister, you shall unfeignedly feel 
it at the length, though presently it seemeth otherwise unto your 

* COT. 306. Evidently to the same person as the last, 
t Patron* , 



140 

sense; you shall, after you be a little exercised herein, find a quiet 
fruit of righteousness, the God of grace which hath called you unlo 
his eternal glory, confirming and strengthening you, being some deal 
afflicted with your Brethren and Sisters that be in the world, for 
alone you suffer not as I trust you know. 

It comforted me to read in your letters, that no displeasure of 
father, mother, husband, children, &c. doth move you to be ruled 
after the counsel of the world, and therefore you will me not to be afraid 
for you. Oh, my beloved, what thanks should I give to our God 
and dear Father, for this his exceeding kindness towards you ? His 
name be magnified for you for ever ; his mercy be more and more 
multiplied unto you, in you, and upon you, for ever and ever, Amen. 
God make me thankful herefore. But you add that the fear of death, 
doth now and then move you a little, howbeit you say, that as 1 have 
counselled you, you will strive thereagainst. My good Joyce, I take 
you at your word, keep promise, I pray you ; that is, strive against it, 
and I promise you in the name of the Lord, that you shall have the 
victory, which I would wish you to set before your eyes also, and so 
shall the terror of death trouble you the less. 

Soldiers going to war, set not before their eyes simply the strife, 
but rather the victory ; and my good Sister, will not you herein follow 
them? In your travail with child doth not the hope of the babe to 
be delivered, mitigate the malady? Doth not the sick, in taking 
bitter and loathsome physic, set before him the commodity that will 
ensue? And, my dear Sister, will not you by these be something 
informed ? Consider what this life is ; consider what death is ; con- 
sider what is prepared for you after death. Concerning this life, 
you know that it is full of misery, vanity, and woe: it is a plain 
exile, and hath nothing in it permanent. 

It is therefore compared to a vapour, to a smoke, to a shadow, yea, 
to a warfare, a wilderness, a vale of wretchedness, wherein we are 
compassed on every side with most fierce and fearful enemies; and 
should we desire to dwell here? should we lust to live in this loath- 
some and laborious life ? should we wish to tarry in this wretched- 
ness? should we have pleasure to remain in this perilous state? 
Faniel's den is not so dreadful, as is this dungeon we dwell in. 

Concerning death to them that be, as I know you are, God's dear 



141 

children, my tenderly beloved Sister, what other thing- is it than the 
dispatcher of all displeasure, the end of all travail, the door of 
desires the gate of gladness, the port of paradise, the haven of 
heaven, the rail of rest and quietness, the entrance to felicity, the 
blessing of all blissfulness ? It is the very bed of down, and there- 
fore well compared to a sleep, for the doleful bodies of God's people 
to rest in, out of the which they shall rise and awake, most fresh and 
lusty to life everlasting. 

It is a passage to the Father, a chariot to heaven, the Lord's 
messenger, a leader unto Christ, a going- to our home, a deliverance 
from bondage and prison, a dismission from war, a security from all 
sorrows, and a manumission from all misery. So that the very heathen 
did in some places cause the day of their death to be celebrated with 
mirth, melody, and minstrelsy, and should we be dismayed at it? 
should we be afraid of it? should we tremble to hear of it? should 
such a friend as it is, be unwelcome ? should the foulness of his face 
fear us from his good conditions ? should the hardness of his husk 
hinder us from his sweet kernel? should the roughness of the tide 
tie us to the hank and shore, there to be drowned, rather than the 
desire of our home drive us to go abroad ? should the hardness of 
the saddle set us on our feet to perish by the way, rather than to 
leap up and endure the same a little, and so to be where we would be ? 

Concerning- that which is prepared for you after death, if I should 
go about to express it, the more I should so do, the further I should 
be from it. For the eye hath not seen, neither the ear hath heard, 
nor the heart of man is able to conceive in any point, the joy, mirth, 
melody, pleasure, power, wealth, riches, honour, beauty, fellowship, 
dainties, odours, glory, wisdom, knowledge, treasures, security, 
peace, quietness, and eternal felicity, which you shall have and enjoy 
world without end, with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy 
Ghost; with the angels, archangels; with the patriarchs and 
prophets; with the apostles and evang-elists ; with the martyrs and 
confessors; and with all the saints of God, in the palace of the Lord, 
in heaven, the kingdom of God, the glory of the Father. 

Oh woe to the blindness of our eyes that see not this ! woe to the 
hardness of our hearts that feel not this ! woe to the deafness of our 
ears that hear not this in such sort as we should do ; wherethrough 



142 

we might be so far from fearing death, that rather we should wish 
it, crying with Simeon; Now let thy servant depart in peace : with 
Paul, [ desire to be dissolved* and to be with Christ ; with David, 
When shall I come and appear before thee? and again, Oh woe is me 
that my habitation is thus prolonged, &c. But, alas, dear Sister, 
great is our unbelief, Full faint is our faith, or else i>ight and day 
tears should be our bread and drink, whilst it is said unto us, where 
is your GOD ? 

It is a token of little love to God, to be loth to go unto him when 
he calleth. If my dearest friend, of a special favour and tender 
good will, should send a horse for me to come untolum, should I be 
displeased thereat? Yea, should I not be willing and glad to come 
unto him? And, alas, yet if death, the Lord's palfrey, the Lord's 
messenger should come, I think 1 should not be so ready, but be 
fearful as you foresee yourself to be. 

Wherethrough, I doubt not, but you take occasion to lament the 
weakness of your faith, and seeing your need, to prepare for remedy 
against the time of need, and to beg of GOD his aid, strength, and 
comfort, against that pinch, which undoubtedly you shall have, and 
find his promise true, that in an acceptable time, he heard your prayer, 
Such as I am, have no such foresight of death, and therefore are 
less presently dismayed, which will turn to our greater grief in the 
plunge ; save that for my part, 1 hope he will never tempt me, further 
than he will make me able to bear. Into his hands I offer myself, 
beseeching him for his Christ's sake, to keep me soul and body, to his 
kingdom and glory ; and to lead me, order me, and dispose of me, as 
he will, in all things, in all places, and forever ; that at the length I 
may come whither I will, that is, unto his own blessed presence and 
fruition of immortality, with you and his saints, Amen. 

Thus much I thought good to write unto you for this present, to 
occasion you the less to fear death, which either needeth not or boteth 
not ; and therefore even reasonable men, much more spiritual men, 
labour to strive against the fear of that which they can by no means 
avoid. But of this hereafter, I trust, mouth to mouth to speak with you. 
Now as to my soul, I pray and wish unto you, my most dear Sister in 

Dissoulved. 



143 

the Lord, whose grace guide you, and his mercy embrace you, on 
every side for ever, Amen. 

Your's, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 45.* 
TO A PIOUS LADY, 

Jesus is God with us. 1554. 



The grace of God the Father, and the wisdom of our Saviour 
Jesu Christ through the Holy Ghost, confirm you in the love of the 
truth to the end. Amen. 

I have much rejoiced, perceiving your ladyship's earnest zeal 
towards the gospel of Christ, especially in these troublesome days, in 
the which the verity is deadly persecuted. Blessed be God that hath 
given you so bold a spirit that you are not ashamed of his gospel, 
which is a plain token that you be the very elect child of God; if 
you hold fast to the end this godly confession. But this you cannot 
do unless you be content to suffer such persecutions as commonly do 
follow the same; for as St. Peter teacheth us, it is not only given us 
to believe, but also to suffer for the same. Christ and the cross do go 
together, and joy doth follow affliction, the which our Saviour in the 
gospel hath signified unto us, saying that we must, through many 
troubles, enter into the kingdom of heaven. The dear disciples of 
Christ would fain have overskipped the same, and been placed 
at his right hand and at his left, but it would not be granted, 
before they had tasted of the cup which they should drink of. We 
are very far inferiors unto them in all good things; but if we be 
like unto them in suffering, we shall assuredly be partakers of 
their glory. 

* Harl. MS. Brit. Mus. No. 416. Fo. 35. 



144 

There is no outward thing in the world that doth more assure us 
of the favour of God and of everlasting life, than persecution for the 
righteousness uf God's word; and therefore St. Paul to the Galatians 
saith in his troubles, that he carried the mark of our Saviour Jesus 
Christ in his body. O how desirable a thing is it for the servant to 
be like to his master! O how glorious a thing is the cross that pur- 
chaseth eternal bliss! Verily we are not worthy to carry the cross of 
Christ ; the Lord for his mercy sake make us worthy, that we may 
esteem it as the chiefest handfast of our joy. If we consider what is 
prepared for us in the same, there is nothing in the world that we 
should rather desire; for as St. Paul icitnesseth. the momentary 
lightness of afflictions doth bring forth an eternal weight of g'ory. 
Why then should we shrink? Why now should we be afraid, since 
by the cross which is offered us, the kingdom of God approacheth 
nigher unto us ? Now, as Christ said, The kingdom of heaven suf- 
fercth violence, and such as be violent do take the same. The Lord 
loveth no coward in his cause, for such as be faint-hearted in the 
Lord, are excluded the kingdom of heaven in the Apocalypse. An- 
tichrist, which now by the will of God doth rage for the trial of our 
faith, doth nothing else but procure us a ready horse to bring us unto 
heavejj; but you perhaps do think this horse to be too hot for your 
riding, and that you are not able to set him, he is so terrible and so 
fiery: yet, good madam, if you ride him with the snaffle of patience, 
and in your hand hold forth the buckler of faith, you shall be able 
to abide at his outrageous courses and flaming flying. Moses saw 
God in a fiery bush; Elias, the prophet, was carried to heaven in a 
fiery chariot; God maketh his angels a flame of tire, yea, God himself 
is a consuming fire. Wherefore, then, shall we be afraid to pass unto 
God through tire, since it is his angel sent unto us, to bring us to 
our eternal inheritance, in the which we are made approved gold for 
the Lord's household? 

The fire to us that be faithful is nothing so terrible as it is to the 
unfaithful, for we know that it shall have no further force in us, than 
is the good pleasure of God that we shall be able to bear; for he hath 
promised a good success unto us in the very midst of our troubles, so 
that Ave shall not be further tempted than our God will be assistant 
with us, let us not mistrust the help of God to be present with us in our 



145 

necessities, since that he hath promised, by the mouth of the prophet 
David, to be present with us in our trouble, and that he will speedily 
deliver us out of the same, and glorify us ; let us cast our care upon 
God, and he will comfort us, we are his creatures and we must be 
content to set forth his glory by such ways as he doth appoint us, 
and not after our wills; he is our Lord, and we ought humbly to sub- 
mit our neck to that yoke which he hath appointed us to bear, we may 
not appoint God our end, but we must be content with that end as he 
doth now offer us ; to the which if we be obedient, we shall receive 
the inheritance of his obedient children; but if we murmur, grudge, 
or be afraid of his prescribed ways, we shall exclude ourselves from 
everlasting life; like as the Children of Israel did, when God had 
delivered them out of the miserable servitude of Egypt, and appointed 
to have brought them into the land of promise; who contrary to the 
Lord's calling, being afraid of the terrible giants which they heard 
to be dwelling in the same land, murmured against God, and would 
have turned back again for fear into Egypt, whereby they were forty 
years afflicted in the wilderness, and entered not into that land of 
behest, but perished through their murmuring infidelity. 

Let us beware that we lose not our heavenly inheritance by like 
transgression, if we do not willingly take up that cross which God now 
hath prepared for us ; let us not go about to chuse what kind of cross 
we list, but being content with that which is offered by the will of 
God, be it never so terrible or cruel, let us pray that we may have 
patience and strength, to shew ourselves faithful in the same; rejoicing 
that God giveth us any occasion to glorify his holy name, and to 
declare our faithful service we owe unto him. He were to be counted 
no faithful subject, who of his sovereign being appointed to serve 
one way, would indent to serve another way; neither were he 
worthy to be taken for a true servant, who having his manner of 
service appointed by his master, doth withdraw himself from doing 
the same, and doth otherwise serve at his own pleasure. 

If we cannot but think this, an evident disobedient frowardness of 
man to man, worthy great punishment; what shall we think of man's 
wilful declining, murmuring, and grudging- from the holy precepts 
and faithful prescribed service, of our everlasting king and mighty 
lord, master, defender, and nourisher. O what unthankful creatures 

u 



146 

are we, so little to regard our creator! O faithless hearts that do 
fear man more than God, that be content to serve man above God ! 
O blindness of eyes that do more readily behold the earth than 
heaven ; may they look for heaven, that be more willing to serve the 
world than God? That which men do seek they shall find, and 
according to that which they follow, the reward will be ; every 
body shall receive after the work of his own hands. If we now labour 
with Christ, we shall be rewarded with Christ; if we serve him 
faithfully after the talents of our vocation, according to his gospel, 
we shall enter into the joy of our lord and master; now at noon day 
the good husbandman calleth us to work in his vineyard, to the 
which calling, if we be obedient, and be content to suffer the heat and 
fervent burning of the day, we shall have the penny of eternal life; 
the which, otherwise forsaking this calling, we are like to lose. 

If I should, all the days of my life, devise a ready way for you 
to go unto heaven, I am certain there is none so ready and so certain 
as this is, to take up your cross and to follow Christ. This is a hard 
word to the Capernite and to such as be worldly affected; but that 
which is impossible to the flesh and to man, is possible unto God; for 
it is the spirit of God which doth help our infirmities, by whom we 
are able to mortify the affections of the body, and are made strong, 
against all the fiery darts of the devil and of the world. The mean 
to attain this spirit, is to follow the counsel of David, saying, Forget 
then the people and the house of thy father, and the king shall be 
desirous of thy beauty. Therefore, dearly beloved, walk in the 
spirit, and transform not yourself to the fashion of the world, neither 
do after the concupiscence of the flesh, for he that will be a friend 
of the world, is become an enemy to God. 

We are bound to offer our bodies a lively, holy, and acceptable 
sacrifice unto God, now have we good opportunity so to do; the Lord 
make us willing and glad priests, to offer this our reasonable service 
which we owe unto God; for this cause are we all called of St. Peter 
both priests and kings ; priests, to the end we should sacrifice our 
bodies to God; kings, because we should subdue our affections and 
rule our bodies; to this point we can be content, for man's pleasure, 
or for a small reward, to venture our life ; the which being once lost 
no man can restore again, neither redeem by any price ; and cannot 



14T 

be content to do the like at God's holy will, who, though we he dead, 
can give us life, and reward us with eternal felicity. What is he that 
being- in the cross doth not leap for joy, knowing that he shall pass 
from death to life, from misery to bliss, from temporal delights to 
eternal joys, from shame to glory, from wordly commodities to 
everlasting possessions in heaven? 

If he doubt the note of God's promise, x>r say in his heart 
there is no God, as the wicked do ; the Lord's spirit doth fly 
away from all feigned things, as it is written in the first of 
the Book of Wisdom ; and therefore our Saviour commandeth 
all true believers, in the Gospel of St. John, to worship God 
in spirit and verity; so that in no wise we may worship God in 
the papistical synagogue, under falsity and idolatry. The Lord grant 
you faith, as effectual as the grain of mustard seed ; so that ye may 
grow, through the sincere moisture of good works, unto a great tree in 
the Lord, that the birds of the air may build their nests in your 
branches ; that is, such as be weak, unstable, and wavering in the 
faith, may, seeing your constant faith and godly conversation, be won 
unto the faith. So mustour light shin*, tlit it may be seen of all men, 
for God hath not kindled the light of his gospel in us, that we should 
hide it under a bushel ; but that we should set the same upon a candle- 
stick, that it might give Kght to as many as list to behold it. Therefore 
Solomon compareth a good person's life, unto a bright light which ' 
groweth unto the perfectness of the day: still the scripture exhorteth 
us to grow in faith and to be perfect ; that is, with St. Paul to go 
forward and to forget those things which we have, through knowledge, 
cast behind us, and never to take them again; for as Christ saith in 
the gospel, how none that hath put his hand to the plough, and 
looketh backward, is meet for the kingdom of God. The Lord 
grant that we may never look back again, for, if we do, our last fall 
will be worse than the first. 

It is good for you in these evil days, to have continually before your 
eyes the philosophy of a Christian man; which is, to acknowledge God 
as merciful, wise, just, and omnipotent; that he is merciful, he giveth 
us freely by faith the remission of our sins ; by his wisdom, God trieth 
our faith through adversities, that apparent faith may be known, as 
well to ourselves as to the world, to his glory; that God is just, we 



148 

are assured, according to his promise, he will not suffer us to be 
tempted above that we shall be able to bear; and in that God is 
omnipotent, we may be certain that he will turn our evil which we 
suffer, to good, our shame to glory, our sorrow to joy, our death to 
life. These things, Madam, if, with fervent prayer and continual 
reading of the scriptures, you do well weigh, you shall fear neither 
faggot, neither fire, nor sword, nor halter; but, in the midst of them, 
rejoice that you are Christ's disciple, who doth exercise our faith by 
this same. God deliver you out of all temptations, that you never be 
overthrown of any. 

Written by a captive in Christ in the King's Bench. 

The following admirable meditation on 
God's providence and presence, bears date 
also during this year. 

No. 40.* 



THIS ought to be unto us most certain, that nothing is come 

without thy providence, O Lord ; that is, that nothing is done, good or 

bad, sweet or sour, but by thy knowledge ; that is, by thy will, 

wisdom, and ordinance : for all these, knowledge doth comprehend 

in it; as by thy word we are taught, in many places, that even the 

loss of a sparrow is not without thy will : nor any liberty or power 

upon a poor porket, have all the devils in hell, but by thine own 

appointment and will. And we must always believe it most assuredly, 

to be all just and good, howi-oever it seem otherwise unto us; for thou 

art marvellous (and not comprehensible) in thy ways, and holy in all 

thy works. But hereunto it is necessary for us to know, no less 

certainly, that, although all things be done by thy providence, yet 

the same thy providence, to have many and divers means to work by: 

which being contemned, thy providence is contemned. As for an 

example : meat is a mean to serve thy providence, for the preservation 

of health and life here, so that he that contemneth to eat, because thy 

J* Strype Eccl. Mem. vol. iii. pt. 2. 279. 



149 

providencce is certain and in fallible, that same contenineth thy provi- 
dence indeed. I f it were so, that meat could not be had, then should \ve 
not tie thy providence unto this mean, but make free as thou art free ; 
that is, that without meat thou must help to health and life. For it is 
not of any need, that thou usest any mean to serve thy providence. Thy 
wisdom and power is infinite, and therefore should we hang on thy 
providence, even when all is clean contrary against us. But for our 
erudition and infirmities' sake, it hath pleased theeto work by means, 
and deal with us here, to exercise us in obedience. 

And because we cannot (so great is our corruption) sustain thy 
naked providence and presence, grant me therefore, dear Father, I 
humbly beseech thee for Christ's sake, that as I something now know 
these things, so I may use this knowledge to my comfort and 
commodity. That is, grant that in what state soever I be, I doubt 
not but the same to come to me by thy most just ordinance, yea, by 
thy merciful ordinance also. For as thou art just, so art thou. 
merciful; yea, thy mercy is above all thy works. And by this 
knowledge, grant that I may humble myself to obey thee; and 
expect for myself, in time convenient, not only when I have means by 
which thou mayest work, and art so accustomed to do ; but also when 
I have no means, but am destitute; yea, when all things and means 
are clean contrary against me ; grant, I say, that I may still hang 
upon thee and thy providence, not doubting of a fatherly end in good 
time. 

Again, lest I should contemn thy providence, or presuming on it, 
by uncoupling those^ things which thou hast coupled together; 
preserve me from neglecting- thine ordinance and lawful means in all 
my need, (if so be I may have them, and with good conscience use 
them) although I know thy providence be not tied to them, further 
than it pleaseth thee ; but grant that I may with diligence, reverence, 
and thankfulness use them; and thereto add my wisdom and industry, 
in all things lawful for me, to serve thereby thy providence, if so 
please thee. That I hang in no part on the means, or in my diligence, 
wisdom, or industry, but only on thy providence; which more and 
more persuade me, to be altogether fatherly and good, how far soever 
it appear or seem, yea, is felt of me. By this I being preserved from 



150 

negligence on roy behalf, ami despairing* or murmuring towards thee r 
shall become diligent through thy mean, and alone grace; which give 
me and increase in me, to praise thy holy name for ever, through 
Christ oar Lord and Saviour. Amen. 

There is nothing that maketh more to the true godliness of life 
than this, the persuasion of thy presence, dear Father, and that 
nothing is hid from thee; but all to thee is open and naked, even the 
very thoughts, which one day thou wilt reveal and open, either to our 
praise or punishment in this life; as thou didst David's faults, which 
he did secretly, 2 Kings xii. or in the life to come, Matt. xxv. for 
nothing is so hid, that shall not be revealed; therefore doth the 
prophet say, Woe to them that keep secret their thoughts, to hide 
their counsel from the Lord, and do their works in darkness, saying, 
Who seelh us ? 

Grant to me, therefore, that I may find mercy and pardon for all 
my sins, especially my hid and close sins. Enter not into judgment 
with me, I humbly beseech thee; give me to believe truly in thy 
Christ, so that I naay never come into judgment for them ; that with 
David I might so reveal them, and confess them unto thee, that thou 
wouldest cover them. And grant further, that I always think myself 
continually conversant before thee so that if I do well, I pass not of 
the publishing of it, as hypocrites do; if I do or think any evil, I 
may forthwith know, that the same shall not always be hid irom 
men. Grant that always I may have in mind that day, wherein the 
hid works of darkness shall be illumined, and the sentence of thy 
Son, Nothing is so secret, that shall not be revealed. So in trouble 
and wrong I shall find comfort, and otherwise be kept through thy 
grace from doing evil. Which do thou work, 1 humbly beseech 
thee, for Christ's sake. Jlnien. Soli Deo honor ft gloria. 1554. 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



151 



No. 47.* 



A Letter which the Martyr, Bradford, set as a preface before 
a Supplication sent to Queen Mary, her Council, and 
the whole Parliament. 



IN most humble wise complaineth unto your Majesty and 
Honours, a poor subject persecuted for the confession of Christ's 
verity; tbe which verity deserveth at your hands to be maintained 
and defended, as the thing 1 by the which you reign, and have your 
honours and authorities. 

Although we that be professors, and through the grace of God, 
the constant confessors of the same, are, as it were, the out-sweepings 
of the world ; yet, I say, the verity itself is a thing not unworthy for 
your ears to hear, for your eyes to see, and for your hands to handle, 
help, and succour; according to that the Lord hath made you able, 
and placed you where you are, for the same purpose. Your Highness 
and Honours ought to know, that there is no innocency in words or 
deeds, where it is enough and sufficeth, only to accuse. It behoveth. 
kings, queens, and all that be in authority, to know, that in the 
administration of their kingdoms, they are God's ministers. It 
behoveth them to know, that they are no kings, but plain tyrants, 
who reign not to this end, that they may serve and set forth God's 
glory, after true knowledge. And therefore it is required of them, 
that they should be wise, and surfer themselves to be taught ; to 
submit themselves to the Lord's discipline, and to kiss their 
sovereign, lest they perish. 

As all these potentates with their principalities and dominions, 
cannot long prosper but peiish indeed, if they and their kingdoms be 
not ruled with the sceptre of God, that is with his word ; which 
\vhoso honoureth not, honoureth not God ; and they that honour not 

* Fox lii. 351. Cov. 476. 



152 

the Lord, the Lord will not honour them, but bring them into 
contempt; and at the length take his own cause, which he hath most 
chiefly committed unto them to care for, into his own hands, and so 
overthrow them, and set up his truth gloriously: the people also 
perishing with the princes, where the word of prophecy is wanting, 
much more where it is suppressed, as it is now in this realm of 
England ; over which the eyes of the Lord are set to destroy it, 
your Highness, and all your honours, if in time you look not better 
to your office and duties herein, and not suffer yourselves to be slaves 
and hangmen to antichrist* and his prelates ; who have brought your 
Highness and Honours already, to let Barabbas loose, and to hang 
up Christ. As by the grace and help of God, I shall make apparent, 
if first it would please your excellent Majesty, and all your honours, to 
take to heart God's doctrine, which rather through the malice of the 
pharisees, I mean the bishops and prelates, than your consciences, 
is oppressed ; and not for our contemptible and execrable state in the 
sight of the world, to pass the less of it. 

For it, the doctrine I mean, is higher and of more honour and 
majesty than all the whole world. It standeth invincible above all 
power, being not our doctrine, but the doctrine of the everliving 
GOD, and of his Christ, whom the father hath ordained king, to have 
dominion from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the 
world. And truly so doth he, and will he reign, that he will shake 
all the whole earth, with his iron and brazen power, with his 
golden and silvery brightness, only by the rod of his mouth ; to shi- 
vers, in such sort, as though they were pots of clay, according to that 
which the prophets do write, of the magnificence of his kingdom. 
And thus much for the thing, I mean the doctrine, and your duties 
to hearken, to propagate, and defend the same. 

But now will our adversaries mainly cry out against us, because 
no man may be admitted once to whist against them ; that we 
pretend falsely the doctrine and word of God, calling us the most 

* Nothing can be more evident, than that the man who could thus faithfully and 
intrepidly address those, who had the power of life and death in their hands ; and as to 
the exercise of which it had already appeared, they were not likely to be very abste- 
mious had not taken counsel with flesh and blood, and was fully prepared to set his 
own life upon the cast. 



153 

wicked contemners of it, and heretics, schismatics, traitors, &c. All 
which their sayings, how malicious and false they are, though I 
might make report to that, which is written by those men whose 
works they have condemned, and all that retain any of them, 
publicly by proclamation; yet here will I occasion your Majesty and 
Honours, by this my writing, to see that it is far otherwise than they 
report of us. God our Father, for his holy name's sake, direct my 
pen to be his instrument to put into your eyes, ears, and hearts, that 
which most may make to his glory, to the safeguard of your souls 
and bodies, and preservation of the whole realm. Amen. 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 48/ 



Unto the King and Queen's most excellent Majesties, and to 
their most honourable and High Court of Parliament. 

IN most humble and lamentable wise complain unto your Majes- 
ties, and to your High Court of Parliament, your poor desolate and 
obedient subjects, H., F., T., B., P. R., S., &c. That whereas your 
said subjects, living under the laws of God, and of this realm, in the 
days of the late most noble King Edward the Sixth, did in all things 
shew themselves true, faithful, and diligent subjects, according to 
their vocation, as well in the sincere ministering of God's most holy 
word, as in due obedience to the higher powers, and in the daily 
practice of such virtues and good demeanour, as the laws of God at 
all times, and the statutes of the realm did then allow. 

Your said subjects nevertheless, contrary to all laws of justice, 
equity, and right, are in very extreme manner, not only cast into 
prison, where they have remained now these fifteen or sixteen months ; 
but their livings also, their houses and possessions, their goods and 
books taken from them, and they slandered to be most heinous 

* The supplication of the persecuted preachers to the King and Queen, sent with the 
preceding letter. Fox iii. 118. 

X 



154 

heretics, their enemies themselves being both witnesses, accusers, 
and judges; belying-, slandering, and misreporting your said 
subjects at their pleasure, whereas your said subjects, being straitly 
kept in prison, cannot yet be suffered to come forth, and make answer 
accordingly. 

In consideration whereof, may it please your most excellent 
Majesties, and this your High Court of Parliament, graciously to 
tender the present calamity of your said poor subjects, and to call 
them before your presence, granting them liberty, either by mouth or 
writing in the plain English tongue, to answer before you, or before 
indifferent arbiters, to be appointed by your Majesties, unto such 
articles of controversy in religion, as their said adversaries have 
already condemned them of, as of heinous heresies. Provided, that 
all things may be done with such moderation and quiet behaviour, as 
become subjects and children of peace; and that your said subjects 
may have the free use of all their own books, and conference together 
among themselves. 

Which thing being granted, your said subjects doubt not but 
it shall plainly appear, that your said subjects are true and 
faithful Christians, and neither heretics, nor teachers of heresy, nor 
cut off from the true catholic universal Church of Christ; yea, that 
rather their adversaries themselves be unto your Majesties, as were 
the charmers of Egypt to Pharoah, Zedekiah and his adherents unto 
the King of Israel, and Bar Jesu to the Proconsul, Sergius Paulus. 
And if your said subjects be not able by the testimony of Christ, his 
prophets, apostles, and godly fathers of his church, to prove that the 
doctrine of the church, homilies, and service, taught and set forth in 
the time of our late most godly prince and king, Edward VI., is 
the true doctrine of Christ's catholic church, and most agreeable to 
the articles of the Christian faith ; your said subjects offer themselves 
then to the most heavy punishment, that it shall please your Majesties 
to appoint. 

Wherefore, for the tender mercy of God in Christ, which you look 
for at the day of judgment, your said poor subjects in bonds, most 
humbly beseech your excellent Majesties, and this your High Court 
of Parliament, benignly and graciously to hear and grant this their 
petition, tending so greatly to the glory of God, to the edifying of his 



155 

church, to the honour of your Majesties, and to the commendation 
and maintenance of justice, right, and equity, both before God and 
man. And your said subjects, according to their bounden duty, shall 
not cease to pray unto Almighty God, for the gracious preservation 
of your most excellent Majesties, long to endure. 



No. 49.* 



The Prisoners for the Gospel, their Declaration concerning 
King Edward, his Reformation. 

To the King and Queen's most excellent Majesties, with their 
most honourable High Court of Parliament. 

We, poor prisoners for Christ's religion, require your honours, 
in our dear Saviour Christ's Name, earnestly now to repent; for that 
you have consented of late to the unplacing of so many godly laws, 
set forth touching the true religion of Christ before, by two most 
noble kings, being father and brother to the Queen's Highness, and 
agreed upon by all your consents ; not without your great and many 
deliberations, free and open disputations, costs and pains-taking in 
that behalf; neither without great consultations and conclusions, had 
by the greatest learned men in the realm, at Windsor, Cambridge, 
and Oxford ; neither without the most willing consent and allowing 
of the same, by the whole realm thoroughly. So that there was not 
one parish, in all England, that ever desired again to have the Romish 
superstitions and vain service, which is now by the popish, proud, 
covetous clergy placed again, in contempt not only of God, all heaven, 
and all the Holy Ghost's lessons in the blessed bible ; but also against 
the honours of the said two most noble kings; against your own 



* Strype, Cranmer, ii. 959. " By whom this memorable declaration was drawn 
up, unless by John Bradford, I know not. This now is the second time a public chal- 
lenge was made to justify King Edward's reformation ; the former in the last year by 
Cranmer, the latter now by divers of the learned men in prison. Strype, Cranmer, 
i. 506. 



156 

country, fore agreements, and against all the godly consciences 
within this realm of England, and elsewhere. 

By reason whereof God's great plagues must need follow, and 
great unquietness of consciences ; besides all other persecutions and 
vexations of bodies and goods, must needs ensue. Moreover, we 
certify your honours, that since your said unplacing of Christ's true 
religion, and true service, and placing in the room thereof antichrist's 
Romish superstition, heresy, and idolatry ; all the true preachers have 
been removed and punished, and that with such open robbery and 
cruelty, as in Turkey was never used, either to their own country- 
men, or to their mortal enemies. 

This therefore our humble suit is now to your honourable estates, 
to desire the same, for all the mercies sake of our dear and only 
Saviour Jesus Christ, and for the duty you owe to your native country, 
and to your own souls, earnestly to consider from what light to what 
darkness this realm is now brought; and that in the weightiest, chief 
and principal matter of salvation, of all our souls and bodies everlasting, 
and for evermore. And even so we desire you at this our appealing, 
to seek some effectual reformation for the above written, most horrible 
Deformation in this Church of England. 

And touching yourselves, we desire you in like manner, that we 
may be called before your honours ; and if we be not able to prove 
and approve, by the catholic and canonical rites of Christ's true 
religion, the church homilies, and service set forth in the most inno- 
cent King Edward's days; and also to disallow and reprove, by the 
same authorities, the service now set forth since his departing; then 
tee offer our bodies, either to be immediately burned > or else to 
suffer whatsoever other painful and shameful death, that it shall please 
the King and Queen's Majesties to appoint. And we think this trial 
and probation may be now best, either in the plain English tongue 
by writing, or otherwise by disputation in the same tongue. Our 
Lord, for his great mercy's sake, grant unto you all the continual 
assistance of his good and holy spirit. Amen. 



157 



ON the 22d of January, 1555,* Bradford 
was brought from the King's Bench Prison, 
by the Under Marshal, before the Com- 
missioners or Council,t assembled most 
probably at the Church of St. Mary Overies, 
in Southwark.t 

, When Bradford was brought into the 
presence of the Council, who were sitting at 
a table, he kneeled down on his knee; 
but Gardiner, who was then Lord Chancellor, 
directed him to stand up ; and earnestly 
looked upon him, to have, belike, overfaced 
him ; but Bradford gave no place ; that is, he 
ceased not, in like manner, to look on the 
Lord Chancellor still continually; save that 
once he cast up his eyes to heavenward, 
sighing for God's grace, and so overfaced 
him ; at which Gardiner being as it were 

* There must be some error in Fox's dates ; for he states that Brad- 
ford was called in after the Commissioners had finished their talk with 
Bishop Ferrar ; but from his account of that martyr, it would seem he 
had not been examined till the 4th of May following. Probably it 
should have been, after they had finished with Rogers, for he had been 
examined on the same day. 

+ We do not know why they were called Commissioners, as we have 
not been able to discover any Commission connected with the subject, 
except that given by Bp. Burnet, vol. ii. pt. 2. No. 32., and noticed by 
Collier, ii. 404.; in which Gardiner's name is not included. 

| The same as St. Saviour's. See the process, Post, App. 



158 

amazed and something troubled ; the exami 
nation proceeded as follows: 

No. 50.* 



THE FIRST EXAMINATION OF BRADFORD, 



Gard. You have for a long time been imprisoned justly, for your 
seditious behavioural Paul's Cross, the thirteenth of August* 1553; 
for your false preaching and arrogancy, taking- upon you to preach 
without authority. But now, the time of mercy is come, and therefore 
the Queen's Highness, minding to offer unto you mercy, hath by us 
sent for you, to declare and give the same, if so be ye will, with us, 
return: and if you will do as we have done, you shall find as we have 
found, I warrant you. 

Brad. (After reverent obeisance made) My Lord, and Lords of 
all, I confess that I have been long imprisoned, and, with humble 
reverence be it spoken, unjustly ; for that I did nothing seditiously, 
falsely, or arrogantly, in word or fact, by speaking or otherwise ; but 
rather sought truth, peace, and all godly quietness, as an obedient 
and faithful subject, both in going about to save the present Bishop 
of Bath, tlien.M' Bourne, the preacher at the Cross, and in preaching 
for quietness accordingly. 

Gard. (W*ith considerable impatience, and interrupting the 
Martyr) That is a loud lie, for the fact was seditious, as you, my 
Lord of London, can bear witness. 

Banner. You say true, my Lord, I saw him with mine own eyes, 
when he took upon him to rule and lead the people malapertly; 
thereby declaring that he was the author of the sedition. 

Brad. My Lords, notwithstanding my Lord Bishop's seeing 
and saying, yet the truth 1 have told, as one day my Lord GOD 
ALMIGHTY shall reveal to all the world, when we shall all come and 
appear before him. In the mean season, because I cannot be believed 

' Fox iii. 283. 



159 

of you, I must and am ready to suffer, as now your sayings be, 
whatsoever God shall license you to do unto me. 

Gard. I know thou hast a glorious tongue, and goodly shews thou 
makest, but all is lies thou speakest. And again, I have not forgot 
how stubborn thou wast before us in the Tower, whereupon thou 
wast committed to prison concerning religion. I have not forgotten 
thy behaviour and talk, wherethrough worthily thou hast been kept 
in prison, as one that would kave done more hurt than I will 
speak of. 

Brad. My Lord, as I said, I say again, that I stand, as before 
you, so before God, and one day we shall all stand before him ; 
the truth then will be the truth, though now ye will not so take it. 
Yea, my Lord, I dare say, that my Lord of Bath, Master Bourne, will 
witness with me, that I sought his safeguard, with the peril of mine 
own life,* 1 thank God therefore. 

Bonner. That is not true; for 1 myself did see thee take upon 
thee too much. 

Brad. No, I took nothing upon me undesired, and that of 
Master Bourne himself, as if he wore here present, I dare say he would 
affirm ;f for he desired me both to help him to pacify the people, and 
also not to leave him till he was in safety. And as for my behaviour 
in the Tower, and talk before your Honours, if I did or said any 
thing that did not beseem me, if your Lordships would tell me 
wherein it was, I should and would shortly make you answer. 

Gard. Well, to leave this matter, how sayest thou ? Wilt thou 
return again, and do as we have done, and thou shalt receive the 
Queen's mercy and pardon ? 

Brad. My Lord, 1 desire mercy with God's mercy, but mercy 
ivith God's wrath, God keep me from; although, I thank God 
therefore, my conscience doth not accuse me, that I did speak any 
thing, wherefore 1 had need to receive the Queen's mercy or pardon. 
For all that ever I did or spake, was both agreeable to God's laws, 
and to the laws of the realm, at that present, and did make much to 
quietness. 

* See the third examination, Post. 

t To the credit of Bourne, it appears that he did interest himself to save Bradford's 
life. See the conference with Weston. Post. 



160 

Gard. Well, if tliou make this babbling 1 , rolling in thy eloquent 
tongue, and yet being altogether ignorant and vain-glorious, and 
wilt not receive mercy offered to thee; know for truth, that the 
Queen is minded to make a purgation* of all such as thou art. 

Brad. The Lord before whom I stand, as well as before you, 
knoweth what vain-glory I have sought, and seek in this behalf; his 
mercy I desire, and also would be glad of the Queen's favour, to live 
as a subject without a clog of conscience. But otherwise the Lord's 
mercy is better to me than life. And I know to whom I have 
committed my life, even into his hands who will keep it, so that no 
man may take it away before it be his pleasure. There are twelve 
hours in the day, and as long as they last, so long shall no man have 
power thereon. Therefore, his good will be done; life in his dis- 
pleasure is worse than death, and death in his true favour, is true 
life. 

Gard. I know well enough that we shall have glorious talk of 
thee : be sure therefore that as thou hast deceived the people with false 
and devilish doctrines, so shalt thou receive. 

Brad. I have not deceived the people, nor taught any other 
doctrine, than by God's grace I am, and hope shall be ready, to 
confirm with my life. And as for the devilishness and falseness in 
the doctrine, I would be sorry you could so prove it. 

TonstaJ. Why, tell me, what say you by the ministration of the 
communion, as now you know it is? 

Brad. My Lord, here I must desire of your Lordship, and of all 
your honours a question, before I dare make you an answer to any 
interrogatory or question, wherewith you now begin. I have been 
six times sworn that I shall in no wise consent to the practising of 
any jurisdiction, or any authority, on the Bishop of Rome's behalf, 
within this Realm of England. Now, before God, I humbly pray 
your Honours to tell me, whether you ask me this question by his 
authority, or no? If you do, I dare not, nor may, answer you any 
thing in his authority which you shall demand of me, except 1 would 
be forsworn, the which God forbid. 



That is the worst you and your Pope can do, and the best argument you have.' 
Fox iii. 283. 



161 

Bourne.* Hast thou been sworn six times? What office hast 
thou borne ? 

Brad. Forsooth I was thrice sworn in Cambridge ; when I was 
admitted Master of Arts, when I was admitted Fellow of Pembroke 
Hall, and when 1 was there, the visitors came thither, and sware the 
University. Again, I was sworn when I entered into the ministry, 
when I had a prebend given me, and when I was sworn to serve the 
King, a little before his death. 

Gard. Tush, Herod's oaths a man should make no conscience 
at. 

Brad. But, my Lord, these were no Herod's oaths, no unlawful 
oaths, but oaths according to God's word, as you yourself have well 
affirmed in your book De Vera Obedientia.-^ 

Griffin.* My Lords, I never knew wherefore this man was in 
prison, before now; but 1 see well, that it had not been good that this 
man had been abroad. What the cause was, that he was put in prison, 
I know not ; but I now well know, that not without a cause, he was 
and is to be kept in prison. 

Bourne. Yea, it was reported this parliament time, by the Earl 
of Derby, that he hath done more hurt by letters, and exhorting 
those that have come to him, in religion, than ever he did when he 
was abroad by preaching. In his letters he curseth all that teach any 
false doctrine, for so he calleth that which is not according to that he 
taught; and most heartily exhorteth them to whom he writeth, to 
continue still in that they have received by him, and such like as he 
is. All which words divers of the Council having affirmed, Bourne 
added, How say you, Sir, have you not thus seditiously written, and 
exhorted the people. 

Brad. I have not written nor spoken any thing seditiously ; 
neither, I thank God therefore, have I admitted any seditious 
cogitation, nor, I trust, ever shall do. 

Bourne. Yea, but thou hast written letters. 



* Secretary to the Council, brother of the Bishop of Bath, whose life Bradford 

had saved. 

t See Appendix, Note (R.) { Bp. of Rochester. 

The letter here referred to was that to his mother, No. 12. Fox iii. 284. 309. 

Y 



162 



Gard. Why speakest thou not? Hast thou not written as lie 
saith ? 

Brad. That I have written, I have written. 

Southwell.* Lord God, what an arrogant and stubborn boy is 
this, that thus stoutly and dallyingly behaveth himself before the 
Queen's Council ! 

Brad. My Lords and Masters, the Lord God who is, and will be, 
judge to us all ; that as I am certain I stand now before his majesty, 
so with reverence in his sight I stand before you, and unto you 
accordingly, in words and gesture, I desire to behave myself. If you 
otherwise take it, I doubt not but God in his good time will reveal 
it. In the mean season, I shall suffer with all due obedience, your 
sayings and doings too, I hope. 

Gard. These be gay glorious words of reverence; but as in all 
other things, so herein also thou dost nothing but lie. 

Brad. Well, I would God, the author of truth and abhorrer of 
lies, would pull my tongue out of my head before you all, aud show 
a terrible judgment on me here present; if I have purposed, or do 
purpose, to lie before you, whatever you shall ask me. 

Gard. Why then dost thou not answer? Hast thou written such 
letters as here is objected against thee ? 

Brad. As I said, my Lord, that I have written, I have written. 
I stand now before you, who either can lay my letters to my charge or 
no; if you lay any thing to my charge that I have written, if 1 deny 
it, I am then a liar. 

Gard. We shall never have done with thee, I perceive; now, be 
short, be short ; wilt thou have mercy ? 

Brad. 1 pray God give me his mercy, and if therewith you will 
extend yours, I will not refuse it, but otherwise I will none. 

Here now was much ado, one speaking this, and another that, 

of his arrogancy, in refusing the Queen's pardon, which she so 

lovingly did offer unto him; whereto, 

Brad. My Lords, if I may live as a quiet subject, without clog 
of conscience, I shall heartily thank you for your pardon ; if otherwise 
I behave myself, then I am in danger of the law ; in the mean season, 

* Sir Richard Southwell, one of the Queen's Privy Council. 






163 

I ask no more, but the benefit of a subject, till 1 be convinced of 

transgression,, If I cannot have this, as hitherto I have not had, 

God's good will be done. 

After a long 1 process of the false doctrine, wherewith tjie 
people were deceived in the days of King 1 Edward 
Gard. How sayest thou? 
Brad. My Lord, the doctrine taught in King 1 Edward's days was 

God's pure religion, the which as I then believed, so do 1 now more 

believe it than ever I did ; and therein 1 am more confirmed, and 

ready to declare it, by God's grace, even as he will, to the world, than 

I was when I first came into prison. 

Tonstal. What religion mean you in King Edward's days? 

What year of his reign? 

Brad. Forsooth, even the same year, my Lord, that the King 

died, and I was a preacher.* 

Here wrote Secretary Bourne I wote not what; and after a 
little pausing, Gardiner began again to declare, that the doctrine, 
taught in King Edward's days, was heresy ; using probation and 
demonstration thereof, not scripture, nor reason, but this; that it 
ended with treason and rebellion ; that the very end were enough 
to prove that doctrine to be naught. 
Brad. Ah, my Lord, that you could enter into God's sanctuary, 

and mark the end of this present doctrine, that you now so magnify ! 
Gard, What meanest thou by that ? I ween we shall have a 

snatch of rebellion even now. 

Brad. My Lord, I mean no such end as you would gather ; I 

mean an end which no man seeth, but such as enter into God's 

sanctuary.f If a man look on present things, he will soon deceive 

himself. 

Here now did Gardiner again offer mercy, and Bradford answered, 
as before ; Mercy with God's mercy shall be welcome, but other- 
wise he would none. Whereupon Gardiner did ring a little bell ; 
upon which the Under Marshal came in. 
Gard. Ye shall take this man to you, and keep him close without 

conference with any man, but by your knowledge ; and suffer him not 

* Here. t Rev. xix. 20. 



164 

to write any letters, 8rc. for he is of another manner of charge unto 

you now, than he was before. 

And so they departed, Bradford looking as cheerfully as any 
man could do; declaring thereby even a desire to give his life for 
confirmation of that he had taught and written.* 



No. 51.t 

THE SECOND EXAMINATION OF BRADFORD, 

In St. Mary Overie's Churchy before Gardiner and divers other 
Bishops, the IQth of January, 1555. 



Gard. Wherebefore, on the 22d of January, you was called 
before us, and we offered unto you the Queen's pardon ; although 
you had contemned the same, and further said, that you would stiffly 
and frontly maintain the erroneous doctrine taught in the days of 
King Edward VI.; yet, in consideration that the Queen's Highness 
is wonderfully merciful, we think good eftsoons to offer the same 
mercy again, before it be too late. Therefore advise you well; 
there is yet space and grace, before we so proceed, that you be 
committed to the secular power ; as we must do, and will do, if you 
will not follow the example of M. Barlow, and M. Cardmaker. 

Whom he here commended, adding oratoricallyl amplifications, 

in order to move Bradford to yield to the religion lately 

set forth. 

Brad. My Lord, and my Lords all, as now I stand in your 
sight before you, so I humbly beseech your honours to consider, that 
you sit in the seat of the Lord, who, as David doth witness, is in the 
congregation of judges, and sitteth in the midst of them judging; 
and as you would your place to be now of us taken as God's place, 



* See Appendix, Note (S.) t Fox iii. 284. 

j-Oratoriouoly. Presently. 



165 



so demonstrate yourselves to follow him in your sitting 1 ; that is, seek 
no guiltless blood,* nor hunt not by questions, to bring into the 
snare them which are out of the same. At this present I stand 
before you guilty or guiltless; then proceed and give sentence 
accordingly; if guiltless, then give me the benefit of a subject, which 
hitherto I could not have. 

Gard. You began with a true sentence, Deus stetit in synagoga, 
etc.; but this and all thy gesture declareth but hypocrisy and vain- 
glory. 

He then made much ado to purge himself, that he sought not 
guiltless blood, and so began a long process, how that Bradford's 
fact at Paul's Cross was presumptuous, arrogant, and declared a 
taking upon him to lead the people ; which could not but turn to 
much disquietness, in that he was so prefract and stout in religion 
at that present. 

For the which as thou wast then committed to prison, so hitherto 
thou hast been kept in prison, where thou hast written letters to no 
little hurt, to the Queen's people ; as by report of the Earl of Derby 
in the Parliament House, was credibly declared. And you stubbornly 
behaved yourself the last time you was before us ; and therefore not 
for any other thing, now I demand of thee, but of or for thy doctrine 
or religion. 

Brad. My Lord, where you accuse me of hypocrisy and vain- 
glory, I must and will leav.e it to the Lord's declaration, which one 
day will open yours and my truth, and hearty meanings. In the 
mean season, I will content myself with the testimony of mine own 
conscience ; which if it yield to hypocrisy, could not but have God to 
be my foe also, and so both God and man were against me. And as 
for my fact at Paul's Cross, and behaviour before you at the Tower ; 
I doubt not but God will reveal it to my comfort. For if ever I 
did thing which God used to public benefit, I think that my deed 
was one, and yet for it 1 have been and am kept of long time in 
prison. And as for letters and religion, I answer as I did the last 
time I was before you. 



* Si ilium objurges vitae qui auxilium tulit; quid facies illi qui dederit damuum aut 
malum 1 Fox. 



166 



Gard. There didst thou say, stubbornly and malapertly, that 
thou wouldest manfully maintain the erroneous doctrine in King- 
Edward's day. 

Brad. My Lord, I said the last time I was before you, that I 
had six times taken an oath, that I should never consent to the 
practising of any jurisdiction, on the Bishop of Rome's behalf; and 
therefore durst I not answer to any thing that should be demanded 
so, lest I should be forsworn, which God forbid. Howbeit, saving 
mine oath, I said that I was more confirmed in the doctrine, set 
forth publicly in the days of King Edward, than ever I was before 
1 was put in prison; and so I thought I should be, and think yet 
still I shall be found more ready to give my life as God will, for the 
confirmation of the same 

Gard. I remember well that thou madest much ado about 
needless matter, as though the oath against the Bishop of Rome 
were so great a matter. So others have done before thee, but yet 
not in such sort as thou hast done ; for thou pretendest a conscience 
in it, which is nothing else but mere hypocrisy. 

Brad. My conscience is known to the Lord : and whether I deal 
herein hypocritically, or no, he knoweth. As I said therefore then, 
my Lord, so say I again now, that for fear lest I should be perjured, 
I dare not make answer to any thing you shall demand of me, if my 
answering should consent to the confirming or practising of any 
jurisdiction, for the Bishop of Rome, here in England. 

Gard. Why didst thou begin to tell that we are Dii, and sit in 
God's place, and now wilt thou not make us an answer? 

Brad. My Lord, I said, you would have your place taken of us 
now as God's place; and therefore I brought forth that piece of 
scripture, that ye might the more be admonished to follow God and 
his ways at this present, who.seeth us all, and well perceiveth whether 
of conscience I pretend this matter of the oath, or no, 

Gard. No, all men may well see thine hypocrisy; for if, for 
thine oath's sake, thou didst not answer, then wouldest thou not 
have spoken as thou didst, and have answered me at the first. But 
now men well perceive, that this is but a starting hole to hide thyself 
in ; because thou darest not answer, and so wouldest escape, blinding 
the simple people's eyes, as though of conscience you did all you do. 



167 

Brad. That which I spake at the first, was not a replication, or 
an answer to that you spake to me ; and therefore I needed not to lay 
for me mine oath. For I thought you would have more weighed 
what I did speak, than you did. But when I perceived you did not 
consider it, but came to ask matter, whereto by answering 1 should 
consent to the practising of jurisdiction, on the Bishop of Rome's 
behalf here in England, and so be forsworn; then of conscience and 
simplicity, I spake as I do yet again speak, that I dare not for 
conscience answer you. And therefore I seek no starting holes, nor 
go about to blind the people, as God knoweth. For if you, of your 
honours, shall tell me, that you do not ask me any thing, whereby 
mine answering should consent to the practising of the Bishop of 
Rome's jurisdiction, ask me wherein you will, and you shall hear 
that I will tell you as flatly, as any ever did that came before you. 
I am not afraid of death, I thank God ; for 1 look and have looked 
for nothing else at your hands, of long time ; but 1 am afraid, when 
death cometh, I should have matter to trouble my conscience by the 
guiltiness of perjury, and therefore do I answer as I do. 

Gard. These be gay glorious words, full of hypocrisy and vain- 
glory; and yet dost thou not know that I sit here as Bishop of 
Winchester in mine own diocese, and therefore may do this which I 
do, and more too. 

Brad. My Lord, give me leave to ask you this question, that 
my conscience may be out of doubt in this matter: Tell me here, 
before God, all this audience being witness, that you demand of me 
nothing, whereby mine answering should consent to and confirm 
the practice of jurisdiction, for the Bishop of Rome here in England ; 
and your Honour shall hear me give you as flat and as plain answers 
briefly, to whatsoever you shall demand me, as ever any did. 

Here Gardiner was wonderfully offended, and spake much how 
that the Bishop of Rome's authority needed no confirmation of 
Bradford's answers, no, nor such as he was; and turned his talk 
to the people, how that Bradford followed crafty covetous 
merchants, who because they would lend no money to their 
neighbours when they were in need, would say that they had 
sworn oft, that they would never lend any more money, because 
their debtors had so oft deceived them. 



168 

Gard. Even so them doest at this present, to cast a mist in the 
people's eyes, to blear them with an heresy, which is greater and 
more hurtful to the commonwealth than the other is, pretend thine 
oath, whereby the people might make a conscience, whereas they 
should not. Why speakest thou not ? 

Brad. My Lord, as 1 said, 1 say again ; I dare not answer you 
for fear of perjury, from which God defend me; or else 1 could tell 
you, that there is a difference between oaths. Some be according to 
faith and charity, as the oath against the Bishop of Rome; some be 
against faith and charity, as this, to deny by oath my help to my 
brother in his need. 

Here Gardiner again was much offended, still saying that 

Bradford durst not answer, and further made much ado, to prove 

that the oath against the Bishop of Rome was against charity. 

Brad. Howsoever your Honour takes me, yet I am assured of 
my meaning, that no fear, but the fear of perjury, makes me 
unwilling to answer. For as for my death, my Lord, as I know 
there are twelve hours in the day, so with the Lord my time is 
appointed. And when it shall be his good time, then shall I depart 
hence; but in the mean season, I am safe enough, though all the 
people had sworn my death. Into his hands I have committed it, 
and do, his good will be done. And, saving mine oath, I will 
answer you in this behalf, that the oath against the Bishop of Rome 
was not, nor is not, against charity. 

Gard. How prove you that ? 

Brad. Forsooth, 1 prove it thus. 

Nothing is against charity, which is with God's word, and not 

against it. 

The oath against the Bishop of Rome's authority in England, 

is with God's word, and is not against it. 

Ergo, the oath against the Bishop of Rome's authority in 

England, is not against charity. 

Gard. Is it against God's word, that a man should take a king 
to he supreme head of the church in his realm? 

Brad. No, saving still mine oath, it is not against God's word, 
but with it, being taken in such sense, as it may be well taken ; that is, 
attributing to the King's power, the sovereignty in all his dominions. 



169 

Gard. I pray you where find you that ? 

Brad. I find it in many places, but especially in the thirteenth to 
the Romans, where St. Paul writeth, Every soul to be subject to the 
superior power; but what power? Quae gladium gestat, the power 
verily which beareth the sword ; which is not the spiritual, but the 
temporal power. As Chrysostom full well noteth upon the same 
place, which your Honour knoweth better than I. He, Chrysostom 
I mean, there plainly sheweth that bishops, prophets, and apostles, 
are obedient to the temporal magistrates. 

Here yet more Gardiner was stirred, and said, how that 

Bradford went about to deny all obedience to the Queen, for his 

oath ; and so, quoth he, this man would make God's word a 

warrant of disobedience; for he will answer the Queen on this 

sort, that when she saith, now swear to the Bishop of Rome, or 

obey his authority ; no, will he say, for I should be forsworn, and 

so he makes the Queen no Queen. 

Brad. No, I go not about to deny all obedience to the Queen's 
Highness, but denying obedience in this part, if she should demand 
it. For I was sworn to King Edward, not simply, that is, not only 
concerning his own person, but also concerning his successors; and 
therefore, in denying to do the Queen's request herein, 1 deny not 
her authority, nor become disobedient. 

Gard. Yes that thou doest ; 

And so he began to tell a long tale, how if a man should make 

an oath to pay to me 100. by such a day, and the man to whom 

it was due would forget the debt, the debtor would say, No, you 

cannot do it; for I am forsworn then. 

Brad. Do not trifle, my Lord, I wonder your Honour will make 
solemn oaths made to God, trifles in that sort; and make so great a 
matter concerning vows, as they call it, made to the Bishop for 
marriage of priests. 

Gard. (Much offended) I did not trifle; but thou goest about 
to deny obedience to the Queen, who now requireth obedience to the 
Bishop of Rome. 

Brad. No, my Lord, I do not deny obedience to the Queen, if 
you would discern between genus and species. Because 1 may not 
obey in this, ergo, I may not obey in the other, is no good reason. 

z 



170 

As if a man let or sell a piece of his inheritance, yet this notwith- 
standing 1 , all his inheritance is not let or sold; and so in this case, 
all obedience I deny not, because I deny obedience in this branch. 

Gard. I will none of these similitudes. 

Brad. I would not use them, if that you went not about to 
persuade the people, that I meant that which I never meant ; for 
I myself not only mean obedience, but will give example of all most 
humble obedience to the Queen's Highness, so long as she requireth 
not obedience against God. 

Gard. No, no, all men may see your meaning well enough. 
There is no man, though he be sworn to the King, that doth therefore 
break his oath, if he be afterwards sworn to the French King and to 
the Emperor. 

Brad. It is true, my Lord, but the cases be not like. For here 
is an exception ; thou shall not swear to the Bishop of Rome, at any 
time. If we in like manner were sworn; thou shalt not serve the 
Emperor, &c., you see there were some alteration, and more doubt. 
And I beseech your Honour remember, what ye yourself have 
written, answering the objections here-against in your book, De Vera 
Obcdientia; Vincat modo divini verbi veritas; let God's word and 
the reason thereof bear the bell away. 

Here G ardiner was thoroughly moved, and said still, how that 

Bradford had written seditious letters, and perverted the people 

thereby, and did stoutly stand, as though he would defend the 

erroneous doctrine in King Edward's time, against all men; and 

now, he saith, he dare not answer. 

Brad. \ have written no seditious letters. 1 have not perverted 
the people; but that which I have written and spoken, that will I 
never deny by God's grace. And where your Lordship saith, that I 
dare not answer you; that all men may know that I am not afraid, 
saving mine oath, ask me what you will, and I will plainly make you 
answer by God's grace, although I now see my life lieth thereon. 
But, O LORD, into thy hands 1 commit it, come what come will ; 
only sanctify thy name in me, as in an instrument of thy grace, 
Amen. Now ask me what you will, and you shall see I am not 
afraid by God's grace, flatly to answer. 

Gard. tt'ell then, how say you to the blessed sacrament? Do 



171 



you not believe there Christ to be present, concerning 1 his natural 
body ? 

Brad. My Lord, I do not believe that Christ is corporally 
present, at and in the due administration of the sacrament. By this 
word, c orporally, I mean that Christ is there present corporally unto 
faith. 

Gard. Unto faith? We must have many more words to make it 
plain. 

Brad. You shall so; but first give me leave to speak two 
words. 

Gard. Speak on. 

Brad. I have been now a year and almost three quarters in 
prison, and of all this time you never questioned with me hereabout, 
when I might have spoken my conscience frankly without peril; but 
now you have a law to hang up and put to death, if a man answer 
freely, and not to your appetite, and so now you come to demand this 
question. Ah, my Lord, Christ used not this way to bring men to 
faith. No more did the prophets or apostles. Remember what 
Bernard writeth to Eugenius the Pope; I read that the apostles 
stood to be judged; but I read not that they sat to judge. This 
shall be, that was, &c.* 

Gard. Somewhat appalled, said gently that HE used not this 
means. It is not my doing, although some there be that think this 
to be the best way. For I, for my part, have been challenged for 
being too gentle oftentimes. 

Which thing the Bishop of London confirmed, and so did 

almost all the audience, that he had been ever too mild and too 

gentle. 

Brad. My Lord, I pray you stretch out your gentleness, that I 
may feel it, for hitherto 1 never felt it. 

Gard. With all my heart, not only I, but the Queen's Highness, 
will stretch out mercy, if with us you will return. 

Brad. Return, my Lord ? God save me from that going back ; 
I mean it not so, but I mean, that I was three quarters of a year in 
the Tower ; you forbade me paper, pen, and ink ; and never in ail 

* See Appendix, Note (T.) 



172 



that time, nor since, did I feel any gentleness from you. I have 
rather hitherto found, as I looked for, extremity. And I thank dod, 
that I perceive now ye have kept me in prison thus long 1 , not 
for any matter ye had, but for matter ye would have, God's good will 
be done. 

Gardiner, being informed that dinner was 
ready, rose up and left Bradford speaking ; 
who was conveyed into the Vestry ; and 
whilst there, M. Thomas Hussey, a gentle- 
man of Lincolnshire, who had been an officer 
in the Duke of Norfolk's household, came in, 
and recognized Bradford ; and told him that 
he would commune and speak with him the 
next morning for old acquaintance. Bradford 
was kept in the Vestry till night, and then 
conveyed again to prison.* 

The next moning, about seven o'clock, 
M. Hussey came into Bradford's chamber, 
and began a long oration, how that of love 
and old acquaintance he came unto him to 
speak that which he would further utter. 
You did, said he, so wonderfully behave 
yourself before the Lord Chancellor, and 
other Bishops yesterday, that even the veriest 
enemies you have, did see that they have no 
matter against you ; and therefore advise you, 
speaking as though it came of his own good 

* See Appendix, Note (U-) 



173 

will, without making any other man privy, 
or any other procuring him, as he said, this 
day, for anon you shall be called before them 
again, to desire a time and men to confer 
withal ; so shall all men think a wonderful 
wisdom, gravity, and godliness in you ; and 
by this means you shall escape present 
danger, which else is nearer than you be 
aware of. 

To this truly deceptive advice, Bradford 
firmly replied, I neither can nor will make 
such request, ; for then shall I give occasion 
to the people and to all others, to think that I 
doubt of the doctrine which I confess ; the 
which thing I do not ; for thereof I am most 
assured, and therefore I will give no such 
offence. 

As they were thus talking, the chamber 
door was unlocked, and Dr. Seton* came in, 
who, when he saw Hussey, said, What, Sir, 
are you come before me ? 

O Lord, said Bradford in his heart to God, 
goeth the matter thus ? This man told me, 
no man knew of his coming ; Lord, give me 
grace to remember thy lesson, Beware of 
those men, &c. Cast not your pearls before 

* Chaplain to Gardiner. 



174 



dogs : for I see that these men are come to 
hunt for matter, that the one may bear witness 
with the other. 

After some by-talk respecting Brad ford's age, country, and such 
like; Seton began a gay and long discourse concerning my Lord 
of Canterbury, (Cranmer), M. Latimer, and M. Ridley, and how 
they at Oxford had not been able to answer any thing at all ; and 
that therefore Cranmer had desired to confer with the Bishop of 
Durham and others ; all which tended to this end, that Bradford 
should make the like suit, being in nothing to be compared to 
my Lord of Canterbury. 

To this Bradford briefly answered, as he had done before to 

M. Hussey ; with which neither Hussey nor Seton being satisfied, 

the latter after many persuasions proceeded. 

Seton. I have heard much good talk of you, and even yesternight 

a gentleman made report of you at the Lord Chancellor's table, that 

ye were able to persuade as much as any that he knew. And I, 

though I never heard you preach, and to my knowledge never saw 

you before yesterday, yet, methought your modesty was such, your 

behaviour and talk so without malice and impatience, that I should 

be sorry you should do worse than myself. And 1 tell you further, 

I do perceive my Lord Chancellor hath a fancy towards you; 

wherefore be not so obstinate, but desire respite, and some learned 

man to confer withal, &c. 

Brad. I cannot nor I will not so offend the people. I doubt not, 
but I am most certain of the doctrine I have taught. 

Here Seton waxed hot, and called Bradford arrogant, proud, 
vain-glorious, and spake like a prelate; to which 
Brad. Beware of judging, lest you condemn yourself. 

But still Seton urged him, shewing him how merciful Gardiner 
was, and how charitably they entertained him. 
Brad. I never saw any justice, much less love, 1 speak for my 
part, in my Lord Chancellor. Long have I been unjustly impri- 
soned, and handled in the same uncharitably; and now my Lord 
h:ith no such matter against me. 



175 

This talk served not the Doctor's purpose, wherefore he went 
from matter to matter, from this point to that point. Bradford 
still gave him the hearing and answered not; for he perceived that 
they had both come only to fish for something, which might 
make a show that my Lord Chancellor had justly kept him in 
prison. When all this talk took no such effect as they had 
looked for ; 

Hussey. Will ye not admit conference, if my Lord Chancellor 
should offer it publicly? 

Brad, Conference, if it had been offered before the law had been 
made, or if it were offered so that I might be at liberty to confer, and 
as safe as he with whom I should confer, then it were something; 
but else I see not to what other purpose conference should be 
oftered, bat to defer that which will come at the length, and the 
liigerinof may give more offence than do good. Howbeit, if my Lord 
siall make such an offer of his own motion, I will not refuse to 
lonfer with whomsoever he shall appoint. 

Upon hearing this, Seton called Bradford arrogant, proud, 
and made use of other reproachful expressions; when Bradford 
perceiving that he should be shortly called for, besought them 
both to give him leave to talk with God; and to beg wisdom and 
grace of him; alleging that otherwise he was helpless; upon 
which, after much ado, they departed. 

Then Bradford went to God, and made 
his prayers, which the Lord, of his goodness, 
graciously accepted in his need ; praised 
therefore be his holy name. 



176 

No. 52.* 

THE THIRD AND LAST EXAMINATION OF 
BRADFORD, 

In the Church of St. Mary Overies, on the 30th of January, 

1553. 



SOON after Seton and Hussey had left Bradford, he was 
conducted to St. Mary's, and kept waiting till e'even o'clock ; 
when he was brought before Gardiner and the other bishops: 
upon which the former said, that if Bradford would answer with 
modesty and humility, and conform himself to the catholic church 
with them, he yet might find mercy, because thev would be loith 
to use extremity ; concluding with an exhortation, that Bradford 
would recant his doctrine. 

Brad. As yesterday 1 besought your Honours, to set in you- 
sight the majesty and presence of God, to follow him, who seeketl 
not to subvert the simple by subtle questions: so I humbly beseech 
every one of you to do this day; for that you know well enough, 
that guiltless blood will cry for vengeance. And this I pray not 
your Lordships to do, as one that taketh upon me to condemn 
you utterly herein ; but that ye might be more admonished, to do 
that which none doth so much as he should do. For our nature 
is so much corrupt, that we are very oblivious and forgetful of God. 
Again, as yesterday I pretended mine oath, and oaths, against the 
Bishop of Rome, that I should never consent to the practising of any 
jurisdiction for him, or on his behalf, in the Realm of England ; so 
do I again this day, lest I should be perjured. And last of all, 
as yesterday the answers I made were by protestation, and, saving 
mine oath, so I would your Honours should know that my answers 
shall be this day ; and this I do, that when death, which 1 look for 
at your hands, shall come, I may not be troubled with the guiltiness 
of perjury. 

* Fox iii. 288. 






* a 

B 

; 




177 

Gard. (In wrath) We had given you respite to deliberate till 
this day, whether you would recant your errors of the blessed 
sacrament, which yesterday before us you uttered, 

Brad. My Lord, you gave me no time of any such deliberation, 
neither did I speak any thing of the sacrament which you did 
disallow. For when I had declared a presence of Christ to be there 
to faith, you went from that matter to purge yourself that you were 
not cruel, and so went to dinner. 

Gard. What? I perceive we must begin all again with thee. 
Did not I yesterday tell thee thou madest a conscience where none 
should be ? Did not I make it plain that the oath against the Bishop 
of Rome was an unlawful oath ? 

Brad. No, indeed, My Lord ; you said so, but you proved it 
not yet, nor ever can do. 

Gard. O Lord God, what a fellow art thou ! Thou wouldest go 
about to bring into the people's heads, that we, all the Lords of the 
Parliament House, the Knights and Burgesses, and all the whole 
realm be perjured. O what an heretic is this! Here, good people, 
you may see what a senseless heretic this fellow is.* If I should 
make an oath, I would never help my brother, nor lend him money 
in his need,-\ were this a good answer to tell my neighbour, desiring 
my help, that I had made an oath to the contrary ; or that I could 
not do it ? 

Brad. O my Lord, discern betwixt oaths that be against 
charity and faith, and oaths that be according to faith and charity, 
as this is against the Bishop of Rome. 

Here Gardiner made much ado, and a long time was spent 

about oaths, which were good, and which were evil, he often 

captiously asking of Bradford a direct answer concerning oaths, 

which Bradford would not give simply, but with a distinction. 

Whereat Gardiner was much offended; but Bradford still kept 

* How closely tyrants and persecutors in all ages imitate each other. "There he 
saw the judge sitting on the trial of the Christians, and trangressing the bounds of 
decency, and of moderation." Lord Hailes, iii. 26. So Jeffries, in the trial of Baxter. 

t We have heard of persons, calling themselves pious, making such oaths or 
resolutions as these let them hear the enormity of their crime, even from such a very 
wretch as Gardiner was ! Deut. xv. 9. Matt. v. 42. 

2 A 



178 

him at bay, that tire oath against the Bishop of Rome was a 
lawful oath, using thereto Gardiner's own book, De Vera 
Obediently for confirmation. 

At length they came to this issue, who should be judge of the 
lawfulness of the oath ; and Bradford said the Word of God, 
according to Christ's Word, John xii., My word shall judge, and 
according to the testimony of Isaiah and Micah, That God's word 
coming out of Jerusalem, shall give sentence among the Gentiles. 
By this word Bradford offered to prove the oath against the 
Bishop of Rome's authority to be a good, a godly, and a lawful 
oath. So that Gardiner left his hold, and as the other day he 
pretended a denial of the Queen's authority, and obedience to her 
Highness, so did he now. 

But Bradford, as the day before, proved that obedience in this 
point, to the Queen's Highness, if she should demand an oath to 
the Bishop of Rome, being denied, was not a general denial of 
her authority and of obedience to her; no more than the sale, 
gift, or lease of a piece of a man's inheritance, proveth it a sale, 
gift, or lease, of the whole inheritance. 

And thus much ado was made about this matter; Gardiner 
talking much and using many examples of debt, of going out of 
the town to-morrow by oath, and yet tarrying till Friday, and 
such like. Which trifling talk Bradford did touch, saying, that 
it was a wonder his Honour weighed conscience no more in this, 
and would be so earnest in vows of priests's marriages made to 
bishops, and be careless for solemn oaths made to God, and to 
princes. Summa, this was the end ; Gardiner said the Queen 
might dispense with it, and did so to all the whole realm ; but 
Bradford said, that the Queen's Highness could do no more 
but remit her right; as for the oath made to God, she could 
never remit, forasmuch, as it was made unto God. At which 
Gardiner chafed wonderfully. 

Gard. In plain sense, you slander the realm of perjury; and 
therefore, addressing the people, you see how this fellow taketh upon 
him, to have more knowledge and conscience, than all the wise men 
of England, and yet he hath no conscience at all. 

Brad. Well, my Lord, let all the standers by see who hath 



179 

conscience. I have been a year and a half in prison; now before afl 
these people, declare wherefore I was imprisoned, or what cause you 
had to punish me. You said the other day in your own house, my 
Lord of London witnessing with you, that I took upon me to speak 
to the people undesired. There he sitteth by you, 1 mean my Lord 
of Bath,* who desired me himself for the passion of Christ, I would 
speak to the people. Uporn these words, I coming 1 into the pulpit, 
had like to have been slain with a dagger, which was hurled at him, 
I think, for it touched my sleeves. He then prayed me, I would not 
leave him, and I promised him, as long as I lived, I would take hurt 
before him that day; and so went out of the pulpit, and intreated 
with the peopk, and at length brought him myself into an house. 
Besides this, in the afternoon, I preached in Bow Church, and there 
going up into the pulpit, one willed me not to reprove the people; 
for, quoth he, you shall never come down alive, if you do it. And 
yet notwithstanding, I did in that sermon reprove their fact, and 
called it sedition at the least twenty times. For all which my doing, 
I have received this recompense, prison for a year and a half and 
more, and death, now which you go about. Let all men be judges 
where conscience is. 

In speaking of these words, there was endeavour to have letted 

it ; but Bradford still spake on, and gave no place, till he had 

made an end, speak what they would ; O then, Gardiner said, that 

for all that fair tale, his fact at the Cross was naught. 

Brad. No, my fact was good, as you yourself did bear witness 

with me ; for when I was at the first before you in the Tower, you 

yourself did say, that my fact was good, but that my mind was evil. 

Well, quoth 1 then, my Lord, in that you allow the fact, and 

condemn my mind, for so much as otherwise I cannot declare my 

mind to man, but by saying and doing, God one day I trust will 

open it to my comfort, what my mind was, and yours is. 

Gard. I never said so. 1 had not so little wit, I trow, as not to 
discern betwixt meaning and doing. 



* This was Bourue,fwhose life he had saved, and who was now sitting as one of his 
judges; but although he did not openly interfere in Bradford's favour, he appears tw 
have made some exertions to save him. See p. 159, and Post. 



180 

He then brought forth, little to the purpose, many examples to 

prove that men construe things, by the meaning of men, and not 

by their doings. But when this would not serve, then cometh be 

to another matter, and said that Bradford was put in prison at the 
first, because he would not yield, nor be conformable to the Queen's 

religion.* 

Brad. Why, my Lord, your Honour knoweth that you would not 
then reason with me in religion, but said a time should afterwards be 
found out,f when I should be talked withal. But if it were as your 
Lordship saith, that I was put in prison for religion, in that my 
religion was then authorized by public laws of the realm, could 
conscience punish me, or cast me in prison therefore? Wherefore, 
let all men be judges, in whom conscience wanteth. 

Chamberlaine.+ This Bradford has been a serving man, and 
was with M. Harrington. 

Gard. True, and did deceive his master of seven score pounds ; 
and because of this, he went to be a gospeller, and a preacher, good 
people, and yet you see how he pretendeth conscience. 

Brad. My Lord, I set my foot by this, whosoever he be, that can 
come forth and justly vouch to my face, that ever I deceived my 
master. And as you are Chief Justice, by office, in England, I desire 
justice upon them that so slander me, because they cannot prove it. 

Gard. We heard it, but we have another manner of matter than 
this against you ; for you are an heretic. 

Banner . Yea, he did write letters to M. Pendleton, who knoweth 
his hand as well as his own ; your Honour did see the letters. 

Brad. That is not true : I never did write to Pendleton since I 
came to prison, and therefore I am not justly spoken of. 

Banner. Yea, but you indited it. 

* Here we have the fact acknowledged, that these persecutions were on account of 
religion ; and not, as the popish writers would insinuate, for rebellion and sedition. 

t See the subtlety and iniquity of these fiends : they would not discuss the question 
of religion upon its own merits, but waited till they had made a law to entrap their 
victims; and by which they must either involve themselves in the consequences, 
confess to error against conscience, or consent to appear, as if incapable of justifying 
their own opinions. 

} Of Woodstock. 



181 

Brad. I did not, nor know what you mean, and this I offer 
to prove. 

Here Allen, one of the Clerks of the Council, put Gardiner in 

remembrance of letters written into Lancashire. 

Gard. You say true, for we have his hand to shew. 

Brad. I deny that you have my hand to shew of letters sent into 
Lancashire, otherwise than before you all I will stand to, and prove 
them to be good and lawful. 

Gard. Sir, in my house the other day you did most con- 
temptuously contemn the Queen's mercy, and further said, that you 
would maintain the erroneous doctrine in Kins' Edward's days, 
against all men, and this you did most stoutly. 

Brad. Well, I am glad that all men see now, you have had no 
matter to imprison me afore that day, justly. Now say I, that I did 
not contemptuously contemn the Queen's mercy, but would have 
had it, though if justice might take place, I need it not, so that I 
might have had it with God's mercy, that is, without doing or saying 
any thing against God and his truth. And as for maintenance 
of doctrine, because I cannot tell how you will stretch this word 
maintenance, 1 will repeat again that which I spake. I said I was 
more confirmed in the religion, set forth in King Edward's days, 
than ever I was ; and if God so would, I trust I should declare it, by 
giving my life, for the confirmation and testification thereof. So I 
said then, and so I say now. As for otherwise to maintain it, than 
pertaining to a private person by confession, I thought not, nor 
think not. 

Gard. Well, yesterday thou didst maintain false heresy, con- 
cerning the blessed sacrament, and therefore we gave thee respite till 
this day to deliberate. 

Brad. My Lord, as I said at the first, I spake nothing of the 
sacrament, but that which you allowed, and therefore refused it not, 
nor gave me any thing to deliberate. 

Gard. Why? Didst thou not deny Christ's presence in the 
sacrament ? 

Brad. No, I never denied nor taught, but that to faith whole 
Christ, body and blood, was as present as the bread and wine, to the 
due receiver. 



182 

Gard. Yea, but dost thou not believe that Christ's body 
naturally and really is there, under the form of bread and wine? 

Brad. My Lord, I believe Christ is present there to the faith 
of the due receiver; as for transubstantiation, I plainly and flatly 
tell you 1 believe it not. 

Here was Bradford called diabolus, a slanderer. 

Gard. We ask no question of transubstantiation, but of Christ's 
presence. 

Brad. I deny not his presence to the faith of the receiver, but 
deny that he is included in the bread, or that the bread is transub- 
stantiate. 

Heath.* If he be not included, how is he then present ? 

Brad. Forsooth, though my faith can tell how, yet my tongue 
cannot express it ; nor you otherwise than by faith hear it, or under- 
stand it. 

Here was much ado, now one doctor standing up and speaking 

this, and others speaking- that, and the Lord Chancellor talking 

much of Luther, Zuinglius, and CEcolampadius ; bat still Bradford 

kept him at this point, that Christ is present to faith ; and that 

there is no transubstantiation, nor including of Christ in the 

bread ; but all this would not serve them. 

Therefore another bishop asketl this question, Whether the 

wicked man received Christ's very body or not? And Bradford 

answered plainly, No. 

Gard. It cannot be that Chris* is present, except that the evil 
man receives it. 

Brad. Grace is at this present offered to your Lordship, although 
you receive it not; so that the receiving maketh not the presence, as 
your Lordship would infer; but God's grace, truth, and power is the 
cause of the presence, which grace the wicked that lack faith cannot 
receive. I pray yon, my Lord, not to divorce that which God hath 
coupled together. He hath coupled all these together. Take eat, 
this is my body. He saith not, see, keep, this is my body; but take 
eat. So that it approveth this as a promise, depending upon condition, 
if we take and cat. 

* Up. of Worcester. 



183 

Here Gardiner and other Bishops said that Bradford had found 
out a toy, that no man else ever did, of the condition; and 
Gardiner made many words to the people thereabout. 
Brad. My Lord, are not these words, take and eat, a command- 
ment? And are not these words, this is my body, a promise? If 
you will challenge the promise, and doubt the commandment, may 
you not deceive yourself? 

Here Gardiner denied Christ to have commanded the sacrament, 
and the use of it. 

Brad. Why, my Lord, I pray you tell the people what mood, 
accipite, manducate, is ; is it not plain to children, that Christ in so 
saying commandeth? 

At these words Gardiner ma4e a great toying and trifling at 
the imperative mood, and fell to parsing or examining, as he 
would teach a child ; and so concluded that it was no command- 
ment, but such a phrase as this; I pray you give me drink, 
which, quoth he, is no commandment, I trow. 
Brad. I entreat you, my Lord, to leave toying and trifling ; if it 
be not a commandment of Christ, to take and eat the sacrament, 
%vhy dare any take upon them, to command and make that of 
necessity, which God leaveth free; as you do in making it a necessary 
commandment, once a year for all that be of discretion, to receive 
the sacrament ? 

Card. You are a caviller. Let a man prove himself, and so eat 
of the bread, (yea, quoth Bradford) and drink of the cup ; this is no 
commandment, for if it were, then should it bind all men, in all 
places, and at all times. 

Brad. O, my Lord, discern between commandments ; some be 
so general, as the ten commandments, that they bind always, in all 
places, and all persons; some be not so general, as this is of the 
Supper, the sacrament of baptism; of the thrice appearing before the 
Lord yearly at Jerusalem; of Abraham offering of Isaac, &c. 

Gard. The cup is not commanded of Christ, for then we should 
have eleven commandments. 

Brad. Indeed I believe you think as you speak, for else would 
you not take the cup from the people, in that Christ saith, Drink ye 
all of it. But how say you, rny Lords? Christ saith to you Bishops 



184 



especially, Go and preach the Gospel: feed Christ's flock, &c. Is 
this a commandment or no?* 

TonstaL When does Christ begin to be present in the sacrament? 
Before the receiver receives it or no ? 

Brad' The question is curious, and not necessary. As the cup 
is the New Testament, so the bread is Christ's body to him that re- 
ceived it duly, but yet so that the bread is bread. For in all the 
Scripture ye shall not find this proposition, there is no bread. And so 
saith Chrysostom, Si in corpore essemus. Horn. 83. in Matt. 

Much ado was hereabouts, they calling Bradford heretic, and 

he desiring them to proceed on in God's name, he looked for that 

which God had appointed for them to do. 

Gard. This fellow is now in another heresy of fatal necessity, as 
though all things were so tied together, that of mere necessity, all 
must come to pass. 

Brad. I pray your Lordship to take things as they be spoken, 
and not wrest them into a contrary sense. You discern betwixt God 
and man. Things are never by fortune to God at any time, though 
to man they seem so sometimes. I speak but as the apostles said ; 
Lord see how Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Prelates, are 
gathered together against thy Christ, to do that which thy hand and 
council, hath before ordained for them to do. 

Here Gardiner read the excommunication ;f and when he came 

to the word laicus : 

Gard. Why, art thou no priest? 

Brad. No, nor ever was, either priest, either beneficed, either mar- 
ried, either any preacher, afore public authority had established 
religion ; or preacher, after public authority had altered religion ; and 
yet I am thus handled at your hand; but God I doubt not will give 
his blessing, where you curse.}: 



* Here Gardiner was in a great chafe, and said as pleased him, Fox ad locum. 
None of their Lordships chose to notice this direct attack upon them ; so Latimer, 
when he wishes to censure the popish Bishops most severely, designates them as " the 
no-preaching prelates" And yet in our own day we have heard it used as a mark of 
reproach against one Bishop, though but one, " that he was too fond of preaching." 

t See Appendix, Note (V.) t See Appendix, Note (W.) 



185 

And so he fell down on his knees, and heartily thanked God, 
that he counted him worthy* to suffer for his name's sake ; and so 
praying God to give him repentance, and a good mind, after the 
excommunication was read, he was delivered to the custody of the 
Sheriffs of London. , 

IMMEDIATELY after the last examination, 
Bradford was conveyed to the Clink ;f where 
he remained two or three days, and was thence 
removed to the Compter in the Poultry ;j it 
being originally intended by his murderers, as 
Fox justly calls them, to deliver him to the 
Earl of Derby, in order to be conveyed to 
Manchester,!! where he was born, and where it 
was intended he should be burned. At this 
period we find the following letters. 



* " Blessed therefore and honourable, are all martyrdoms, endured according to the 
will of God ; for it becometh us, who profess to be devout above all others, to ascribe 
whatever befalleth to the will of God." Lord Hailed Rem. C. A. vol. i. 2. 

+ A comman jail in Long Southwark, at the west end, on the bank 
side of the Thames, near where the stews formerly stood. Biog. Brit, 
ii. 551. 

J In Grocers' Hall Court ; very lately taken down ; and a chapel 
erected upon its site, where the Rev. John Clayton, Jun. officiates. 
How would our holy martyr have rejoiced, could he have forseen that 
the genuine Gospel of his Saviour and Redeemer, and the same truths 
for which he was about to lay down his life at the stake ; would be 
preached with such acceptance, power, and effect, on the very spot 
where his frail body was so cruelly incarcerated ! 

Acts and Mon. iii. 291. See Appendix, Note (X.) 
11 See Appendix, Note (Y.) 



186 



No. 53.* 



To HIS DEARLY BELOVED SISTER, MRS. A. W. 



THE everlasting peace of Christ be more and more lively felt in 
our hearts, by the operation of the Holy Ghost, now and for ever, 
Amen. 

Although I know it to be more than needeth, to write any thing 
unto you, good Sister, being, as I doubt not you be, diligently 
exercised in reading of the Scriptures, meditating 1 the same, and 
hearty prayer to God for the help of his Holy Spirit, to have the sense 
and feeling especially of the comforts you read in God's sweet book ; 
yet having such opportunity, and knowing not whether hereafter 
I shall have the like, as this bringer can declare, I thought good in 
few words to take my farewell in writing, because otherwise I 
cannot. 

And now methinks, I have done it; for what else can I, or 
should I, say unto you, my dearly beloved in the Lord, but farewell ? 
Farewell, dear Sister, farewell ; howbeit in the Lord, our Lord, I say, 
farewell ; in him shall you fare well, and so much the better, by how 
much in yourself you fare evil, and shall fare evil. 

When I speak of yourself, I mean also this world, this life, and 
all things properly pertaining to this life. In them as you look not 
for your welfare, so be not dismayed, when accordingly you shall feel 
it. To the Lord our God, to the Lamb our Christ, who hath borne 
our sins on his back, and is our mediator for ever, do I send you. 
In him look for welfare, and that without all wavering, because of 
his own goodness and truth, which our evilness and untruth cannot 
take away. 

Not that therefore I would have you to flatter yourself in any 
evil or unbelief, but that I would comfort you, that they should not 

* Fox iii. 319. Cov. 457. 



1ST 

dismay you. Yours is our Christ wholly ; yours, I say, he is, with 
all that ever he hath. Is not this welfare, trow you ? Mountains 
shall move and the earth shall fall, before you find it otherwise ; say 
the liar satan what he list. Therefore, good Sister, farewell, and be 
merry in the Lord ; be merry, I say, for you have good cause. 

If your welfare, joy, and salvation hanged upon any other thing, 
than only God's mercy and truth, then might you well be sad, 
heavy, and stand in a doubt. But in that it hangeth only upon these 
two, tell satan he lieth, when he would have you to stand in a 
mammering, by causing you to cast your eyes, which only in this 
case should be set on Christ, your sweet Saviour, on yourself in 
some part. 

Indeed, look on yourself, on your faith, on your love, obedience, 
&c., to awake you up from security, to stir you to diligence, in 
doing the things appertaining to your vocation; but when you 
would be at peace with God, and have true consolation in your 
conscience, altogether look upon the goodness of God in Christ. 
Think on this commandment, which precedeth all others, that you 
must have no other Gods, but the LORD JEHOVAH, which is your 
Lord and God ; the which he could not he, if that he did not pardon 
your sins in very deed. Remember that Christ commandeth you to 
call him Father, for the same intent. 

And hereto call to mind all the benefits of God, hitherto showered 
upon you ; and so shall you feel in very deed, that which I wish 
unto you now, and pray you to wish unto me, farewell or well fare 
in the LORD JESUS ; which may he grant us shortly to meet, as his 
children, for his name and mercy's sake, to our eternal welfare. 
Amen. , 

Your own in the Lord, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



188 
No. 54.* 

TO HIS MOTHER, 

As a farewell, who thought he should have suffered shortly 

after. 



THE Lord of Life and Saviour of the World, Jesus Christ, bless 
you and comfort you, my good and dear Mother, with his heavenly 
comfort, consolation, grace, and spirit, now and for ever. Amen. 

If I thought that daily, yea almost hourly, you did not cry upon 
God the Father, through Jesus Christ, that he would give me his 
blessing, even the blessing of his children ; then would I write more 
hereabouts. But forasmuch as herein I am certain you are diligent, 
and so I beseech you, good Mother, to continue; 1 think it good to 
write something, whereby this your crying might be furthered. 
Furthered it will be, if those things which hinder it be taken away. 
Among the which, in that I think my imprisonment is the greatest 
and chiefest, 1 will thereabout spend this letter, and that briefly, lest 
it might increase the let, as my good brother, this bringer, can 
tell you.f 

You shall know therefore, good Mother, that for my body, 
though it be in an house, out of the which I cannot come when I 
will, yet in that I have conformed my will to God's will, I find herein 
liberty enough, I thank God. And for my lodging, bedding, meat, 
drink, godly and learned company, books, and all other necessaries, 
for mine ease, comfort, and commodity, I am in much better case, 
than I could wish, and God's merciful providence here is far above 
my worthiness. Worthiness, quoth I ? Alas, I am worthy of nothing 
but damnation. 

* Fox iii. 350. Cov. 451. 

t He meaneth the danger of more strait imprisonment, that might hereby follow. 
Cov. 451. 



189 

But besides all this, for my soul I find much more commodity ; 
for God is my father, I now perceive, through Christ; therefore in 
imprisoning me for his Gospel, he maketh me like to the image of his 
Son Jesus Christ here, that when he cometh to judgment, I might 
then be like unto him, as my trust and hope is I shall be. Now 
maketh he me like to his friends, the prophets, apostles, the holy 
martyrs, and confessors. Which of them did not suffer, at the least, 
imprisonment or banishment for his Gospel and word ? 

Now, Mother, how far am I unmeet to be .compared unto them ? 
[, I say, who always have been, and am, so vile an hypocrite, and 
grievous a sinner; God might have caused me, long before this 
time, to have been cast into prison, as a thief, a blasphemer, an 
unclean liver, and an heinous offender of the laws of the realm ; but, 
dear Mother, his mercy is so great upon both you and me, and all 
that love me, that I should be cast into prison as none of these, or for 
any such vices ; but only for his Christ's sake, for his Gospel's sake, 
for his Church's sake ; that hereby, as I might learn to lament, to 
bewail my ingratitude and sins ; so I might rejoice in his mercy, be 
thankful, look for eternal joy with Christ, for whose sake, praised be his 
name for it, I now suffer, and therefore should be merry and glad. 

And indeed, good Mother, so I am as ever I was, yea, never so 
merry and glad was f , as I now should be, if I could get you to be 
merry with me, to thank God for me, and to pray on this sort. Ah, 
good Father, who dost vouchsafe that my son, being a grievous sinner 
in thy sight, should find this favour with thee, to be one of thy Son's 
captains, and men of war to fight and suffer for his Gospel's sake. 
I thank thee and pray thee, in Christ's name, that thou wouldest 
forgive him his sins and unthankfulness, and make perfect in him 
that good, which thou hast began; yea, Lord, I pray thee make him 
worthy to suffer not only imprisonment, but even very death, for the 
truth, religion, and Gospel's sake. As Hannah did apply, and 
give her first child, Samuel, unto thee; so do I, dear Father, 
beseeching thee, for Christ's sake, to accept this my gift, and give 
my son John Bradford grace, always truly to serve thee and thy 
people, as Samuel did, Amen, Amen. 

If on this sort, Mother, from your heart, you would pray, as 1 



190 

should be the merriest* man that ever was, so am I certain the lets 
of your prayer for my imprisonment, would be taken away. Mark 
therefore, good Mother, what I have written, and learn this prayer 
by heart, to say it daily, and then I shall be merry, and you shall 
rejoice; if that you continue as I trust you do, in God's true 
religion, even the same I have taught you; and my Father Traves, I 
trust, will put you in remembrance of; my brother Roger also, I 
trust, doth so daily. Go to therefore, and learn apace. Although the 
devil cast divers lets in the way, God, in whom you trust, will cast 
them away for his Christ's sake, if you will call upon him, and never 
will he suffer you to be tempted, above that he will make you able to 
bear. But how you should do herein, the other letter 1 have written 
herewith,f shall teach you, which I would none should read, till my 
Father Traves have read it, and he will give you, by God's grace, 
some instructions. 

Now therefore will I make an end, praying you, good Mother, 
to look for no more letters ; for if it were- known that I have pen and 
ink and did write, then should I want all the foresaid commodities I 
have spoken of concerning my body, and be cast into some dungeon 
in fetters of iron, which thing I know would grieve you, and 
therefore, for God's sake, see that these be burned, when this little 
prayer in it is copied out by my brother Roger ; for perchance your 
house may be searched for such gear, when you think little of it; and 
look for no more, sweet Mother, till either God shall deliver me and 
send me out, either you and I shall meet together in heaven, where 
we shall never part asunder, Amen. 

I require you, Elizabeth and Margaret, my sisters, that you will 
fear God, use prayer, love your husbands, be obedient unto them, as 
God willeth you ; bring up your children in God's fear; and be 
good housewives. God bless you both, with both my good brethren 
your husbands, whom to do good, because I now cannot, I will pray 



* See Appendix, Note (S.) How delightful it is to see the power of religion thus 
' exemplified in the view of death, and how our minds are thus led to retrace the history 
of the early Christians. 

t This letter cometh not to our hands. Cov. 453. Fox iii. 351. 



191 



for them and you. Commend me to my sister Anne, Mother Pike, 
T. Sorrocold and his wife, R. Shalcrosse and his wife, R. Bolton, 
J. Wilde, M. Vicar, the Parson of Mottrom, Sir Lawrence Hall, 
with all that love, and, I trust, live the Gospel; and God turn Sir 
Thomas's heart, Amen. I will daily pray for him. I need not to 
set my name, you know it well enough. 

Because you should give my letters to Father Traves to be 
burned, I have written here a prayer for you to learn to pray for me, 
good Mother, and another for all your house, in your evening prayer, 
to pray with my brother. These prayers are written with mine own 
hand ; keep them still, but the letters give to Father Traves to burn, 
and give Father Traves a copy of the latter prayer. 



WHILST Bradford was in the Compter, 
numerous attempts were made to induce 
him to change his opinions ; and various 
instruments were set to work, and manoeuvres 
practised, in order to accomplish that object.* 

On the fourth of February, the same day 
upon which the martyr Rogers was burned, 
Bonner came to the Counter to degrade Dr. 
Taylor, another of the martyrs ; and sending 
for Bradford, as soon as he saw him, he put 
off his cap and gave him his hand. 



* See Appendix, Note (Z.) 



192 

No. 55.* 

CONFERENCE WITH BONNER. 

Banner. Because I perceive that ye are desirous to confer with 
some learned men, therefore I have brought Master Archdeacon 
Harpsfield to you ; and I tell you do like a wise man ; but I pray you 
go roundly to work for the time is but short. 

Brad. My Lord, as roundly as I can, I will go to work with you; 
I never desired to confer with any man, nor yet do; howbeit if ye will 
have one to talk with me, I am ready. 

Banner. What, did you not tell me that this man desired con- 
ference ? 

Keeper. No, my Lord, I told you that he would not refuse to 
confer with any; but I did not say that it is his desire. 

Banner. Well, M. Bradford, you are well -beloved ; I pray you, 
consider yourself, and refuse not charity when it is offered. 

Brad. Indeed, my Lord, this is small charity, to condemn a man 
as you have condemned me, who never broke your laws. In Turkey 
a man may have charity, but in England I could not yet find it. I 
was condemned for my faith, so soon as I uttered it at your requests, 
before I had committed any thing against the laws. And as for 
conference, I am not afraid to talk with whom ye will ; but to say 
that I desire to confer, that do I not. 



No. 56.t 
TO THE LADY VANE. 

OUR dear and most meek Father, always be with us for his 
Christ's sake, and as his children, guide us for ever. Amen. 

Your comfortable and necessary letters last sent me, right 

Fox iii. 291. f Cov. 467. 



193 



worshipful and dearly beloved, do deserve at my hands, as other your 
benefits have done, that which I cannot give. The Lord my God 
recompense you, as he can and undoubtedly will. Now am I going 
to my good Father and your Father; now am I going to my Christ 
and your Christ; now am I going to my home and your home. 
I go before, but you shall follow ; howbeit when or which way, I 
know not ; the Lord knoweth. Unto his providence and will, 
commend yourself; for as it cannot but come to pass, so is there 
nothing so good to us as it is. Happy were we that ever we were 
born, that God might set forth his glory by us, howsoever he do it. 

Though I am led, as to Peter was said, whither I would not, yet 
with me and for me give thanks, that it pleaseth my Father thus to 
lead me. I have deserved, yea even since I came into this prison, 
many a shameful death ; such and so great is my ingratitude and 
sins. But lo, the tender kindness of my Father, doth correct me as 
a child and son, making the remedy for my sins an occasion of his 
glory, a witness of his verity, a confirmation of his true religion, 
heretofore set forth and preached by me ; wherein, good Madam, 
persist, and you shall be safe. JBe not now ashamed of it, for though 
it seem to be overcome, YET BY SUFFERING IT OVERCOMETH ; that 
God's wisdom, which is foolishness to the world ; God's power, which 
is weakness to the reason of man ; may triumph and confound that, 
which with the world, is wise and mighty. 

Now do I begin to be Christ's disciple; now I begin to be 
fashioned like to my Master in suffering, that so I may be in 
reigning; now do I for ever take my farewell of you for this life; 
now commend I myself into the hands of my Father, by whose 
providence I came into this world, by whose providence I have 
been kept in this world, and by whose providence I do depart hence. 
And as his providence is towards, me, so doubt you nothing less it 
is towards you ; though not in such sort exteriorly, yet in such 
love, solicitude, and carefulness for you interiorly. 

God, our God, and Father of Mercy, for the blood of his Christ, 
wash away all our sins, comfort his Church, strengthen the weak, 
convert or confound, as may make most to his glory, his enemies, 
and be with us KMANUEL for ever. Amen, Amen. 

In haste, out of prison, the 5 of February, 1555. 

JOHN BRADFORDB. 
2c 



194 

ON a subsequent day in the same month, 
M. Willerton, chaplain to Bonner, came 
to confer with Bradford, but when he per- 
ceived that the martyr wished for his 
departure, said, Well, M. Bradford, I pray 
you let us confer a little, perchance you may 
do me good, if I can do you none. Bradford 
having acquiesced, Willerton argued from 
the doctors, and fathers, and of the bread in 
Johnvi. labouring to prove transubstantiation, 
and alleging that wicked men do receive 
Christ. But Bradford, on the contrary, 
improved his authorities, so that they came 
to this issue, that Willerton should draw out 
his reasons from the Scriptures and the 
Doctors, and Bradford should peruse them ; 
and if he could not answer them, then he 
would give place. Likewise Bradford was 
to draw out his reasons, from the Scriptures 
and Doctors, to which Willerton should 
answer if he could ; and so they sepa- 
rated. 

The next morning, Willerton sent half a 
sheet of paper written on both sides, con- 
taining no reasons how he gathered his 
doctrine ; but only bare sentences, The bread 
which I will give is my flesh ; and the 
places in Matt, xxvi., Mark xiv., Luke 
xxii., and 1 Cor. x. xi., with some sentences 



195 

of the Doctors, all which made as much 
against him as for him. 

In the afternoon he came himself, when 
they had a long conference to little effect : 
and at length Willerton alleged that Bradford 
swerved from the Church. 



No. 57.* 
CONFERENCE WITH M. WILLERTON. 



Brad. No, that 1 do not, but ye do, for the Church is Christ's 
spouse, and Christ's obedient spouse, which your Church, which robs 
the people of the Lord's cup, and of service in the English Tongue, 
is not. 

Wilier. Why ? it is not profitable to have the service in English ; 
for it is written, The lips of the priest should keep the law, and out of 
his mouth man must look for knowledge. 

Brad. Should not the people then have the Scriptures? 
Wherefore serveth this saying of Christ, Search the Scriptures? 

Wilier. This was not spoken to the people, but to the scribes 
and learned men. 

Brad. Then the people must not have the Scriptures ? 

Wilier. No, for it is written, They shall be all taught of God. 

Brad. And must we all learn of the priests ? 

Witter. Yea. 

Brad. Then I see you would bring the people to hang up 
Christ, and let Barabbas go, as the priests did then persuade the 
people. 

* Fox iii. 291. 



196 

In the end Bradford gave his reasons, which he had gathered 
against transubstantiation, and prayed him to frame his into the 
form of reasons, and that then he would answer them. 
IViller. Well, 1 will do so ; hut first I will answer yours.* 



No. 58.t 

ANOTHER LETTER to MRS. ANNE WARCUP. 

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, for his Christ's sake, 
increase in us faith, by which we may more and more see what glory 
and honour is reposed, and safely kept in heaven, for all them that 
believe with the heart, and confess Christ and his truth with the 
mouth, Amen. 

My dearly beloved, I remember that once heretofore:*: I wrote unto 
you a Vale, or a farewell upon conjecture; but now I write my 
farewell to you in this life indeed, upon certain knowledge. My staff 
standeth at the door, I continually look for the Sheriff to come for 
me, and, I thank God, I am ready for him. Now go 1 to practice that 
which I have preached. Now am I climbing up the hill : it will 
cause me to puff and blow before I come to the cliff. The hill is 
steep and high ; my breath is short, and my strength is feeble ; pray 
therefore to the Lord for me, that as I have now through his goodness, 
even almost come to the top, I may, by his grace, be strengthened, 
not to rest till I come where I should be. 

Oh, loving Lord, put out thy hand and draw me unto thee ; for 
no man cometh, but he whom the Father draweth. See, my dearly 
beloved, God's loving mercy ; he knoweth my short breath and great 
weakness. As he sent for Elijah a fiery chariot, so sendeth he for 
me ; for by fire my dross must be purified, that I may be fine gold in 
his sight. O unthankful wretch that I am ; Lord, do thou forgive 

* Which however he never did. Fox iii. 292. 
t Fox iii. 3. Cov. 438. } See No. 53. 



197 

me mine unthankfulness. Indeed I confess, right dear to me in the 
Lord, that my sins have deserved hell fire ; much more than this fire. 
But lo! so loving is my Lord, that he converteth the remedy for my 
sins, the punishment for my transgressions, into a testimonial of his 
truth, and a testification of his verity, which the prelates do persecute 
in me, and not my sins ; therefore they persecute not me, but Christ 
in me, who I doubt not will take my part unto the very end. Amen. 

Oh, that I had so open an heart, as could so receive as I should do, 
this great benefit and unspeakable dignity, which God my Father 
offereth to me. Now pray for me, my dearly beloved, pray for me, 
that I never shrink. 1 shall never shrink, I hope; I trust in the 
Lord, I shall never shrink ^ for he that always hath taken my part, I 
am assured will not leave me when 1 have most need, for his truth 
and mercy's sake. Oh, Lord, help me ; into thy hands I commend 
me wholly. In the Lord is my trust, I care not what man can do 
unto me, Amen. 

My dearly beloved, say you Amen, also, and come after if God so 
call you. Be not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, but keep company 
with him still. He will never leave you; but in the midst of tempta- 
tion will give you an outscape, to make you able to bear the brunt. 
Use hearty prayer; reverently read and hear God's Word; put it in 
practice ; look for the cross ; lift up your heads, for your redemption 
draweth nigh. Know that the death of God's saints is precious in 
his sight ; be merry in the Lord ; pray for the mitigation of God's 
heavy displeasure upon our country ; God keep us for ever ; God 
bless us with his spirtual blessings in Christ. 

And thus I bid you farewell for ever in this present life ; pray for 
me, pray for me, for God's sake, pray for me. God make perfect his 
good work begun in me, Amen. Out of prison this 7 of February. 

Yours in the Lord, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



198 

No. 59,* 

TO HIS DEAR FATHERS, DR. CRANMER, 
DR. RIDLEY, AND DR. LATIMER. 



JESUS IMMANUEL. My dear Fathers in the Lord, I beseech God 
our sweet Father, through Christ, to make perfect the good he hath 
begun in us all, Amen. 

I had thought that every of yonr staves had stood next the door; 
but now it is otherwise perceived. Our dear brother Rogers hath 
broken the ice valiantly, and as this day, I think, or to-morrow at 
the uttermost, hearty Hooper, sincere Saunders, and trusty Taylor, 
end their course and receive their crown. 

The next am I, who hourly look for the porter, to open me the 
gates after them, to enter into the desired rest. God forgive me mine 
unlhankfulness, for this exceeding great mercy; that amongst so 
many thousands, it pleased his mercy to choose me, to be, one in 
whom be will suffer. For although is be west true, that juste patror, 
for I have been a great hypocrite, and a grievous sinner, the Lord 
pardon me, yea, he hath done it, he hath done it, indeed, yet, Hie 
autem quid mali fecit? Christ whom the prelates persecute, his 
verity which they hate in me, hath done no evil, nor deserveth death. 

Therefore ought I most heartily to rejoice of this dignation, and 
tender kindness of the Lord, towards me, which useth the remedy 
&r my sin, as a testimonial! of his Testament, to his glory, to your 
everlasting comfort, to the edifying of his Church, and to the 
overthrowing of antichrist and his kingdom. O what am I, Lord, 
that thou shouldest thus magnify me, so vile a man and miser as 
always I have been ? Is this thy wont to send for such a wretch and 
hypocrite as I have been, in a fiery chariot, as thou didst for Elijah ? 

* Fox iii. 321. Cov. 466. 

t It is a singular mercy of God to bave death, which is a due punishment for sin, 
turned into a demonstration and justification of the Lord's truth. Cov. 466. 



199 



Oh, dear Fathers, be thankful for me, and pray for me, that 1 still may 
be found worthy, in whom the Lord would magnify his holy name. 

And for your part, make you ready, for we are but your gentlemen 
ushers. Nuptias agni parati sunt, venite ad nuptias. I now go to 
.leave my flesh there, where I received it. I shall be conveyed 
thither,* as Ignatius was to Rome, Leopardis; by whose evil I hope 
to be made better. God grant, if it be his will that I ask, it may 
make them better by me, Amen. 

For my farewell therefore, I write and send this unto you, 
trusting shortly to see you, where we shall never be separated. In 
the mean season I will not cease, as I have done, to commend you to 
our Father in heaven. And that ye would do so by me, I most 
heartily pray every one of you ; you know now I have most need. 
But fidelis Deus, qui nunquam sinet nos tentari, supra id quod 
possumus. He never did it hitherto, nor now, and I am assured, he 
will never, Amen. 

A dextris cst mini, non movebor. Propter hoc laetabitur cor 
meum, quia non derelinquet animam meam in inferno, nee dabit me, 
sanctum suum per gratiam in Christo, videre corruptionem. E 
carcere raptim, expectans omni momento carnificem. The 8 of 
February, Anno 1555. 

JOHN BRADFORD, 



No. 60.t 

TO HIS DEAR FRIEND, AND BROTHER IN 
THE LORD, M. GEORGE EATON. 



ALMIGHTY God, our dear Father, give to you daily more and 
more, the knowledge of his truth, and a love and life to the same for 
ever in all things, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen. 

* He meaueth that he should be conveyed by the Queen's guards into Lancashire 
to be burnt, as the adversaries had once determined ; like as Ignatius was by a 
company of soldiers, conveyed to Rome, and cast to the leopards. Cov. 467. 

t Cov. 446. 



200 



I should begin with thanksgiving to God, and to you as his 
steward, for the great benefits I have oftentimes received from you, 
and especially in this time of my most need, far above my expectation ; 
but because thankfulness lieth not in words or letters, and because 
you look not to hear of your well-doing of man, I am purposed to pass 
it over with silence, and to give myself presently to that which is 
more profitable unto you ; that is, as God shall lend me his grace, 
briefly to labour, or at least, to shew my good will, to help you in 
God's gift to me, as you by your doing the like in God's gift unto 
you, have, as already done, so occasioned me greatly hereto. 

I would gladly have done it heretofore, but I have been 
discouraged to write unto you, lest hurt thereby might come unto 
you ; which is the only cause 1 have not hitherto written, nor now 
would not have done, but that I stand in a doubt, whether ever 
hereafter I shall have liberty to write unto you. And therefore, whilst 
I something may, I thought good to do thus much, to declare unto 
you, how that, as I think myself much bound to God for you, so I 
desire to gratify the same, as God should enable me. 

The days are come, and more and more do approach, in the 
which trial will be of such, as have unfeignedly read and heard the 
Gospel; for all others will abide no trial, but as the world will. But 
of you because I have better hope, I cannot but, as pray to God, in 
him to confirm you; so to beseech you of the same. I know it will 
be a dangerous thing indeed to declare that which in word you have 
confessed, and in heart have believed, especially concerning the 
papistical mass; but, notwithstanding, we must not for dangers 
depart from the truth, except we will depart from God ; for inasmuch 
as God is the truth, and the truth is God, he that departeth from the 
one, departeth from the other. 

Now what a thing it is to depart from God, I need not to tell you, 
because you know it is no less than a departing from all that is good, 
and not only so, but also a coupling of yourself to all that is evil ; 
for there is no mean, either we depart from God and stick to the 
devil, or depart from the devil and stick to God. 

Some men there be, who for fear of danger and loss of that they 
must leave, when, where, and to whom, they know not ; do deceive 
themselves after the just judgment of God, to believe the devil, 



201 



because they have no lust to believe God, in hearkening to satan's 
counsel of parting stake with God; as to be persuaded that it is not 
evil, or else no great evil, inwardly in heart to conceal the truth, and 
outwardly in fact to betray it. 

And therefore, though they know the mass to be abomination, 
yet they make it but a straw, in going to it as the world doth ; in 
which thing the Lord knoweth they deceive themselves to damnation, 
dream they as they lust. For surely the body departing from the 
verity, and so from God, will draw and drown, in damnation, the 
soul also. For we shall receive according to that we do in the 
body, good or bad ; and therefore the matter is more to be considered, 
than men make of it ; the more it is to be lamented. 

But I trust, my right dearly beloved, you will consider this with 
yourself, and call your conscience to account, as God's word maketh 
the charge. Beware of false auditors, who making a false charge, 
can get no quietness of the conscience, after God's word. Therefore 
cast your charge, and there you shall see, that no belief of the 
heart justifieth, which hath not confession of the mouth to declare 
the same. No man can serve two masters ; he that gathereth not 
with Christ, as no mass seer unreproving it doth, scattereth abroad. 
God's chosen are such as not only have good hearts, but also kiss 
not their hands, nor bow their knee to Baal. Christ's disciples are 
none but such as deny themselves, and take up their cross and 
follow him. He that is ashamed of Christ and his truth in this 
generation, must look that Christ will be ashamed of him in the day 
of judgment. He that denieth Christ before men, shall be denied 
before God. Now, two kinds of denial there be, yea three kinds ; 
one in heart, another in word, and the third in deed. In the which 
kinds, all mass gospellers be so bitten, that all the surgeons in the 
world can lay no healing plaster thereto, till repentance appear and 
draw out the matter of using the evil, and resorting to the mass. 
For free should we be from all spots, not only of the flesh, but also 
of the spirit ; and our duty is to depart, not only from evil, that is, 
from the mass, but also, from the appearance of evil, that is, from 
conniving at it. 

Woe unto them that give offence to the children of God, that is, 
who occasion, by any means, any to tarry in the church at mass 

2D 



202 

time, much more then, they who occasion any to come thereto ; 
most of all they who enforce any thereto. Assuredly a most heavy 
vengeance of God hangeth upon such. Such as decline to their 
crookedness, God will lead on with wicked workers ; whose portion 
shall be snares, fire, brimstone and stormy tempests ; whose palace 
and house shall be hell fire and darkness; whose cheer shall be 
weeping 1 and gnashing of teeth; whose song shall be woe, woe, 
woe, from the which the Lord of mercy deliver us. 

My dearly beloved, I write not this, as one that thinketh not 
well of you, but as one that would you did well, and therefore to 
help you thereto, 1 write as I write ; beseeching God to open your 
, eyes, to see the dangers men be in, who dissemble with .God and 
man, to the end you do not the like ; and also to open your eyes to 
see the high service you do to God, in adventuring yourself and that 
you have, for his sake. 

Oh, that we considered that it is happiness to suffer any thing 
for Christ's sake, who have deserved to suffer so much for our sins 
and iniquities, Oh, that our eyes were opened to see the great 
reward they shall have in heaven, who suffer the loss of any thing 
for God's sake. If we know the cross to be as a purgation most 
profitable to the soul, as a purifying fire to burn the dross away, of 
our dirtiness and sins; as an oven to bake us in, to be the Lord's 
bread ; as soap to make us white, as a stream to mundify and cleanse 
us, as God's frame-house to make us like to Christ here in suffering, 
that we may be so in reigning ; then should we not so much care 
for this little short sorrow, which the flesh suffereth in it; but rather 
in consideration of the exceeding endless joy and comfort which 
will ensue, we should run forwards in our race, after the example of 
our captain Christ, who comforts us all in our distress, and gives us 
the spirit of prayer, therein to watch and pray, that we be not led 
into temptation; which God grant to us for ever, Amen. 

And thus much 1 thought good to write to you, at this present ; 
to declare my carefulness for the well-doing of you, and all your 
family, whom I commend with you, into the hands and tuition of 
God our Father, so be it. 

Your own in the Lord, 
JOHN BRADFORD. 



203 
No. 61.* 

TO M. GEORGE EATON. 



ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, recompense abundantly 
into your hosom, my dearly beloved, here and eternally, the good 
which from him by you I have continually received, since my coming 
into prison. Otherwise can I never be able to requite your loving 
kindness here, than by praying for you, and after this life, by wit- 
nessing your faith declared to me by your fruits ; when we shall 
come and appear together, before the throne of our Saviour Jesus 
Christ; whither, I thank God, I am even now a going, ever looking 
when the officers will come and satisfy the precept of the prelates; 
whereof, though I cannot complain, because I have justly deserved 
an hundred thousand deaths at God's hands, by reason of my sins ; 
yet I may and must rejoice, because the prelates do not persecute in 
me mine iniquities, but Christ Jesus and his verity ; so that they 
persecute not me, they hate not me, but they persecute Christ, they 
hate Christ. 

And because they can do him no hurt, for he sitteth in heaven and 
laugheth them and their devices to scorn, as one day they shall feel ; 
therefore they turn their rage upon his poor sheep, as Herod their 
father did upon the infants, Matt. ii. Great cause therefore have I 
to rejoice, that my dear Saviour Christ, will vouchsafe among many, 
to choose me to be a vessel of grace to suffer in me, who 4 have 
deserved so often and justly to suffer for my sins, that I might be 
most assured, I shall be a vessel of honour, in whom he will be 
glorified. 

Therefore, my right dear brother in the Lord, rejoice with me, 
give thanks for me, and cease not to pray, that God for his mercy's 
sake, would make perfect the good he hath begun in me. And as 
for the doctrine which I have professed and preached, I do confess 
unto you in writing, as to the whole world I shortly shall by God's 
grace in suffering, that it is the very true doctrine of Jesus Christ, of 

* Fox iii. 344. Cov. 449. 



204 



his Church* of his prophets, apostles, and all good men ; so that if 
an angel should come from heaven, and preach otherwise, the same 
were accursed. 

Therefore waver not, dear heart in the Lord, but he confirmed 
in it, and as your vocation requireth, when God so will, confess it, 
though it be perilous so to do. The end shall evidently shew 
another manner of pleasure for so doing, than tongue can tell. Be 
diligent in prayer,and watch therein; use reverent reading of God's 
Word. Set the shortness of this time before your eyes, and let not 
the eternity that is to come, depart out of your memory. Practise in 
doing, that you learn by reading and hearing; decline from evil, and 
pursue good. Remember them that be in bonds, especially for the 
Lord's cause, as members of your body, and fellow heirs of grace. 
Forget not the affliction of Sion, and the oppression of Jerusalem ; 
and God our Father shall give you his continual blessing, through 
Christ our Lord, who guide us as his dear children for ever, Amen. 

And thus I take my Vale and farewell with you, dear brother, for 
ever in this present life, till we shall meet in eternal bliss; whither 
our good God and Father bring us shortly, Amen. God bless your 
babes for ever, Amen. Out of prison this eighth of February. 

Your afflicted brother, for the Lord's cause, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 62.* 

To all that profess the Gospel and true doctrine of our Lord 
and Saviour Jesus Christ, in the City of London, John 
Bradford, a most unworthy Servant of the Lord, now not 
only in Prison, but also excommunicated and condemned to 
be burned for the same true doctrine ; wisheth mercy, grace, 
and peace, with increase of all godly knowledge, from God 

* Fox iii. 309. Cov. 251. 



205 

the Father of Mercy, through the merits of our alone and 
omnisufficient Redeemer Jesus Christ, by the operation of 
his Holy Spirit for ever. Amen. 



MY dearly beloved brethren in our Saviour Christ, although 
the time 1 have to live is very little, for hourly I look \vhen I should 
be had hence, to be conveyed into Lancashire there to be burned, 
and to render my life by the providence of God, where I first received 
it by the same providence ; and although the charge is great, to keep 
me from all things, whereby I might signify any thing to the world 
of my state ; yet having as now I have, pen and ink, through God's 
working, mauger the head of satan, and his soldiers, I thought good 
to write a short confession of my faith, and thereto join a little ex- 
hortation unto you all, to live according to your profession. 

First for my faith,* I do confess and pray all the whole congre- 
gation of Christ to bear witness with me of the same, that I do 
believe constantly, through the gift and goodness of God, for faith 
is God's only gift, all the twelve articles of the symbol or creed, 
commonly attributed to the collection of the apostles, not because of 
the creed itself, but because of the word of God, the which teacheth 
and confirmeth every article accordingly. 

This Word of God, written by the prophets and apostles, left and 
contained in the canonical books of the HOLY BIBLE, I do believe 
to contain plentifully all things necessary to salvation; so that 
nothing, as necessary to salvation, ought to be added thereto, and 
therefore the Church of Christ, nor none of his congregation, ought 
to be burdened with any other doctrine than which hereout hath her 
foundation and ground. In testimony of which faith, I render and 
give my life, being condemned as well for not acknowledging the 
antichrist of Rome, to be Christ's vicar-general, and supreme head 
of his Catholic and Universal Church, here and elsewhere, upon 



* This my faith I would gladly particularly declare and expound, to the confirma- 
tion and comfort of the simple ; but alas, by starts and stealth, I write in manner that 
that I write, and therefore I shall desire you all to take this brevity in good part. 
Cov. 



206 



earth; as for denying the horrible and idolatrous doctrine of tran- 
substantiation, and Christ's real, corporal, and carnal presence in 
his Supper, under the forms and accidents of bread and wine. 

To believe Christ our Saviour to be the Head of his Church, 
and kings in their realms to be the supreme powers, to whom every 
soul oweth obedience, and to believe that in the Supper of Christ, 
which the sacrament of the altar, as the papists call it and use it, 
doth utterly overthrow, is a true and a very presence of whole 
Christ, God and man, to the faith of the receiver, but not to the 
stander by and looker upon, as it is a true and a very presence 
of bread and wine, to the senses of men; to believe this, I say, will 
not serve, and therefore, as an heretic, I am condemned and shall 
be burned ; whereof I ask God heartily mercy, that I do no more 
rejoice than I do, having so great cause as to be an instrument, 
wherein it may please my dear Lord and Saviour to suffer. 

For albeit my manifold sins, even since I came into prison, have 
deserved at the hands of God, not only this temporal, but also 
eternal fire in hell, much more than my former sinful life, which 
the Lord pardon for his Christ's sake; as I know he of his mercy 
hath done, and never will lay my iniquities to my charge to 
condemnation, so great is his goodness, praised therefore be his hoiy 
name. Although, I say, my manifold and grievous late sins have 
deserved most justly, all the tyranny that man or devil can do unto 
me, and therefore I confess that the Lord is just, and that his 
judgments be true and deserved on my behalf; yet the bishops and 
prelates do not persecute them in me, but Christ himself, his word, 
his truth, and religion. And therefore I have great cause, yea 
most great cause, to rejoice that ever I was born and hitherto kept 
of the Lord; that by my death, which is deserved for my sins, it 
pleaseth the heavenly Father to glorify his name, to testify his 
truth, to confirm his verity, to oppugn his adversaries. Oh, good 
God, and merciful Father, forgive me my great untlmnkfulness, 
especially herein. 

And you, my dearly beloved, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, I 
humbly and heartily in his bowels and blood, do now, for my last 
Vale and farewell in this present life, beseech you and every of you, 
that you will consider this work of the Lord accordingly. First by 



207 

me to be admonished, to beware of hypocrisy and carnal security. 
Profess not the Gospel with tongue and lips only, but in heart and 
verity; frame and fashion your lives accordingly. Beware God's 
name be not evil spoken of, and the Gospel less respected by your 
conversation. God forgive me that I have not so heartily professed 
it, as I should have done, but have sought much myself therein. 

The Gospel is a new doctrine to the old man; it is new wine, 
and therefore cannot be put in old bottles, without greater hurt 
than good to the bottles. If we will talk with the Lord, we must 
put off our shoes and carnal affections; if we will hear the voice of 
the Lord, we must wash our garments and be holy; if we will be 
Christ's disciples, we must deny 'ourselves, take up our cross and 
follow Christ. We cannot serve two masters; if we seek Christ's 
kingdom, we must also seek for the righteousness thereof. To the 
petition of, Let thy kingdom come, we must join, Thy will be 
done, done on earth as it is in heaven. If we will not be doers 
of the word, but hearers of it, we sore deceive ourselves. If we 
hear the Gospel and love it not, we declare ourselves to be but fools, 
and builders upon the sand. The Lord's spirit hateth feigning; 
deceitfulness the Lord abhorreth. If we come to him, we must 
beware we come not with a double heart, for then it may chance 
that God will answer us according to the block which is in our 
heart, and so we shall deceive ourselves and others. To faith see 
that we couple a good conscience, lest we make a shipwreck. To 
the Lord we must come with fear and reverence. If we will be 
gospellers, we must be Christ's ; if we be Christ's, we must crucify 
our flesh, with the lusts and concupiscences thereof. If we will be 
under grace, sin must not bear rule in us. We may not come to the 
Lord, and draw nigh to him with our lips, and leave our hearts 
elsewhere ; lest the Lord's wrath wax hot, and he take from us the 
good remaining ; in no case can the kingdom of Christ approach to 
them who repent not. 

Therefore, my dearly beloved, let us repent and be heartily 
sorry, that we have so carnally, so hypocritically, so covetously, so 
vain- gloriously, professed the Gospel. For all these I confess 
myself, to the glory of God and mine own confusion here, that he 
may cover mine offences in the day of judgment. Let the anger 



208 

and plagues of God, most justly fallen upon us, he applied to every 
one of our deserts, that from the bottom of our hearts, every of us 
may say ; It is /, Lord, that have sinned against thee, it is mine 
hypocrisy, my vain-glory, my covetousness, uncleanness, carnality, 
security, idleness, unthankfulness, self-love, and such like, which 
have deserved the taking away of our good king, of thy word and 
true religion, of thy good ministers, by exile, imprisonment, and 
death ; it is wickedness, that causeth success and increase of 
authority and peace to thine enemies. Oh, be merciful, be merciful, 
unto us; turn to us again, oh, Lord of Hosts, and turn us unto thee. 
Correct us, but not in thy fury, lest we be consumed. In thy 
wrathful displeasure reprove us not, but in the midst of thine anger, 
remember thy mercy ; for if thou wilt mark what is done amiss, 
who shall be able to abide? But with thee is mercifulness, that 
thou might be worshipped ; oh, then be merciful unto us, that we 
may truly worship thee. Help us, for the glory of thy name, be 
merciful unto our sins, for they are great; oh, heal us and help us for 
thine honour, let not the wicked people say, Where is their God, &c. 

On this sort, my right dearly beloved, let us heartily bewail our 
sins, repent us of our former evil life, heartily and earnestly purpose 
to amend our lives in all things, continually watch in prayer, 
diligently and reverently attend, hear, and read the Holy Scriptures, 
and labour after our vocation, to amend our brethren. Let us 
reprove the works of darkness ; let us fly from all idolatry ; let us 
abhor the antichristian, and rotten Romish service, detest the popish 
mass, forsake their Romish God, prepare ourselves to the cross, be 
obedient to all that be in authority, in all things that be not against 
God and his word ; for then answer with the apostles, It is more 
meet to obey God than man. 

Howbeit, never for any thing resist, or rise against the magis- 
trates ; avenge not yourselves, but commit your care to the Lord, to 
whom vengeance pertaineth, and he in his time will reward it. If 
ye feel in yourselves an hope and trust in God, that he will never 
tempt you above that he will make you able to bear, be assured the 
Lord will be true to you, and ye shall be able to bear all brunts. 
But if ye want this hope, fly and get you hence, rather than by 
your tarrying, God's name should be dishonoured. 



209 

In summa, cast your care upon the Lord, knowing for most 
certain that he is careful for you ; with him are all the hairs of your 
head numbered, so that not one of them shall perish without his 
good pleasure and will ; much more then, nothing shall happen to 
your bodies which shall not be profitable, howsoever for a time it 
seemeth other to your senses. Hang on the providence of God, 
not only when you have means to help you, but also when you 
have no means, yea, when all means be against you. Give him 
this honour, which of all other things, he most chiefly requireth at 
your hands, namely, believe that ye are his children, through 
Christ; that he is your Father and God through him; that he 
loveth you, pardoneth you all your offences ; that he is with you in 
trouble, and will be with you for ever. When ye fall, he will put 
under his hand, ye shall not lie still. Before ye call upon him, lie 
heareth you ; out of evil he will finally bring you, and deliver you 
to his eternal kingdom. Doubt not, my dearly beloved, hereof, 
doubt not, I say; this will God your Father do for you in respect, 
not of yourselves, but in respect of Christ your captain, your pastor, 
your keeper, out of whose hands, none shall be able to catch you. 
In him be quiet, and often consider your dignity; namely, how 
that ye be God's children, the saints of God, citizens of heaven, 
temples of the Holy Ghost, the thrones of God, members of Christ, 
and lords over all. 

Therefore be ashamed to think, speak, or do any thing, that 
should be unseemly for God's children, God's saints, Christ's 
members, &c. Marvel not, though the devil and the world hate 
you ; though ye be persecuted here, for the servant is not above his 
master. Covet not earthly riches, fear not the power of man, love 
not this world, nor things that be in this world; but long for the 
Lord Jesus his coming, at which time your bodies shall be made 
like unto his glorious body. When he appeareth, ye shall be 
like unto him ; when your life thus shall be revealed, then shall 
ye appear with him in glory; in the mean season live in hope 
thereof. 

Let the life you lead be in the faith of the Son of God, for the 
just doth live by faith ; which faith flieth from allevil, and foiloweth 
the word of God, as a lantern to her feet, and a light to her steps. 

2E, 



210 



Her eyes be above where Christ is, sbe beboldetb not the tilings 
present, but rather thing's to come; she glorieth in afflictions, she 
knoweth that the afflictions of this life, are not to be compared to 
the glory which God will reveal to us and in us. Of this glory God 
grant us here a lively taste ; then shall we run after the scent it send- 
eth forth. It will make us valiant men, to take to us the kingdom 
of God; whither the Lord of mercy bring us, in his good time, 
through Christ our Lord; to whom with the Father, and the Holy 
Ghost, three persons and one God, be all honour and glory, world 
without end, Amen. 

My dearly beloved, I would gladly have given here my body, to 
have been burned for the confirmation of the true doctrine, 1 have 
taught here unto you, but that my country must have ; therefore I 
pray you, take in good part, this signification of my good will, 
towards every of you. Impute the want herein, to time and trouble. 
Pardon me mine offensive and negligent behaviour, when I was 
amongst you. With me repent, and labour to amend ; continue in 
the truth, which I have truly taught unto you, by preaching in all 
places where I have come, God's name therefore be praised; confess 
Christ when ye are called, whatsoever cometb thereof, and the God 
of peace be with us all, Amen. 

Your brother in bonds for the Lord's sake. 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 63.< 



To all that love the Lord Jesus, and his true doctrine, being in 
the University and Town of Cambridge, JOHN BRADFORD, 
a most unworthy Servant of the Lord; now not only im- 
prisoned, but also condemned for the same true doctrine ; 
wisheth grace, peace, and mercy, with increase of all 

* Fox iii. 311. Cov. 257. 



211 



godliness, from God the Father of all mercy, through the 
bloody passion of our alonely Saviour Jesus Christ, by the 
lively working of the Holy Spirit, for ever, Amen. 



ALTHOUGH I look hourly, when I should be had to the stake, my 
right dearly beloved in the Lord, and although the charge over me 
is great and strait ; yet having by the providence of God secretly pen 
arid ink, I could not but something signify unto you, my solicitude 
which I have for you and every of you in the Lord, though not as 
I would, yet as I may. 

Ye have often, and openly heard the truth, especially in this 
matter wherein I am condemned, disputed and preached, that it is 
needless to do any more, but only to put you in remembrance of the 
same; but hitherto ye have not heard it confirmed, and, as it were, 
sealed up, as now ye do, and shall do here by me, that is, by my 
death and burning. For albeit through my uncleanness, hypocrisy, 
avarice, vain-glory, idleness, unthankful ness, and carnality, whereof 
I accuse myself to my confusion before the world, that before God 
through Christ I might, as my assured hope is I shall, find mercy, 
1 have deserved eternal death and hell-tire ; much more then this 
affliction and fire prepared for me ; yet my dearly beloved it is not 
these, or any of these things, wherefore the prelates do persecute 
me, but God's verity and truth. 

Yea, even Christ himself, is the only cause and thing, wherefore 
I am now condemned, and shall be burned as an heretic, because 1 
will not grant the antichrist of Rome, to be Christ's vicar general, 
and supreme head of his Church here, and every where upon earth, 
by God's ordinance; and because I will not grant such corporal, real, 
and carnal presence of Christ's body and blood in the sacrament, as 
doth transubstantiate the substance of bread and wine, and is re- 
ceived of the wicked, yea, of dogs and mice. 

Also 1 am excommunicated, and counted as a dead member of 
Christ's Church, as a rotten branch, and therefore shall be cast into 
the fire. Therefore ye ought heartily to rejoice with me, and to give 
thanks for me, that God, the eternal Father, hath vouchsafed our 
mother to bring up any child, in whom it would please him to mag- 



nify his holy name, as he doth, and I hope for his mercy and truth's 
sake, will do in me and by me. Oh what such benefit upon earth 
can there be, as that I, who deserved death by reason of my sins, 
should be diverted to a demonstration, a testification, and confirma- 
tion of God's verity arid truth. 

Thou, my Mother, the university, hast not only had the truth 
of God's word, plainly manifested unto thee by reading, disputing, 
and preaching-, publicly and privately; but now, to make thee 
altogether excuseless, and as it were almost to sin against the Holy 
Ghost, if thou put to thy helping hand, with the Romish rout, to 
suppress the verity, and set out the contrary ; thou hast my life and 
blood as a seal to confirm thee, if thou wilt be confirmed, or else to 
confound thee and bear witness against thee, if thou wilt take part 
with the prelates and clergy, \ v lo now fill up the measure of their 
fathers, who slew the prophets and apostles ; that all the righteous 
blood from Abel to Bradford, shed upon the earth, may be required 
at their hands. 

Of this therefore I thought good, before my death, as time and 
liberty would suffer me, for the love and duty J bear unto thee; to 
admonish thee, good Mother, and my sister the town, that ye 
would call to mind from whence ye are fallen, and study to do the 
first works. Ye know, if you will, these matters of the Romish 
supremacy, and the an tichristian transubstantiation, whereby Christ's 
Supper is overthrown, his priesthood evacuate, his sacrifice frustrate, 
the ministry of his word unplaced, repentance repelled, faith tainted, 
godliness extinguished, the mass maintained, idolatry supported, 
and all impiety cherished ; you know, I say, if you will, that these 
opinions are not only besides God's word, but even directly against 
it ; and therefore to take part with them, is to take part against God, 
against whom you cannot prevail. 

Therefore for the tender mercy of Christ, in his bowels and 
blood I beseech you, to take Christ's collyrium and eye-salve, to 
anoint your eyes ; that ye may see what ye may do and have done, 
in admitting, as I hear ye have admitted, yea alas authorized, and 
by consent confirmed, the Romish rotten rags, which once ye utterly 
expelled. Oh, be not canis reversus ad vomitum, be not sus lota, 
reversa ad volutabrum coeni. Beware lest old satan enter in, with 



213 



seven other spirits, and so the last shall he worse than the first. It 
had been hettcr ye had never known the truth, than, after knowledge, 
to run from it. Ah, woe to this world, and the things therein, 
which hath now so wrought with you. Oh, that ever this dirt of 
the devil, should daub up the eye of the realm. If thou he light 
and give shine, all the body shall fare the better; but if, thou, the 
light, be darkness, alas, how great will the darkness be ? What 
is man, whose breath is in his nostrils, that thou shouldest thus be 
afraid of him; 

Oh, what is honour and life here, but plain bubbles? What is glory 
in this world, but shame? Why art thou afraid to carry Christ's 
cross? Wilt thou come into his kingdom, and not drink of his cup? 
Dost thou not know Rome to be Babylon r Dost thou not know 
that as the Old Babylon, had the children of Judah in captivity; 
so hath this Rome, the true Judah, that is the confessors of Christ ? 
Dost thou not know, that as destruction happened unto it, so shall it 
do unto this? And trowest thou that God will not deliver his 
people now, when the time is come, as he did then ? Hath not God 
commanded his people, to come out from her, and wilt thou give 
example to the whole realm to run into her? Hast thou forgotten 
the woe that Christ threateneth to offence-givers ? Wilt thou not 
remember, that it were better a millstone were hanged about thy 
neck, and thou thrown into the sea, than that thou shouldest offend 
the little ones ? And alas, how hast thou offended ; yea, how dost 
thou still offend? Wilt thou consider things according to the 
outward shew ? Was not the synagogue more seemly and like to 
the true Church, than the simple flock of Christ's disciples? Hath 
not the whore of Babylon more costly array and rich apparel, 
externally to set forth hereof, than the homely housewife of Christ ? 
Where is the beauty of the king's daughter, the Church of Christ, 
without or within ? Doth not David say, within ? Oh, remember, 
that as they are happy, who are not offended at Christ ; so are they 
happy, who are not offended at his poor Church. 

Can the Pope and his prelates mean honestly, who make so much 
of the wife, and so little of the husband ? The Church they magnify, 
but Christ they contemn. If this Church were an honest woman, 
that is Christ's wife, except they would make much of her husband 



214 



Christ, and his word, she would not be made much o of them. 
When Christ and his apostles were upon earth, who was more like 
to be the true Church $ they,, or the prelates, bishops, and synagogue? 
If a man should hare followed custom, unity, antiquity, or the more 
part; should not Christ and his company have been cast out of 
doors ? Therefore bade Christ, Search the Scriptures. And, good 
Mother, shall the servant be above his master ? Shall we look for 
other entertainment, at the hands of the world, than Christ and his 
dear disciples found ? 

\Vho was taken in Noah's time for the Church ; poor Noah and 
his family T or others? Who was taken for God'sChnreh in Sodom; 
Lot or others ? And doth not Christ say; As it went then, so shall 
it go now, towards the coming of the Son of Man ? What meaneth 
Christ, when he saith, Iniquity shall have the upper hand ; doth he 
not tell that charity shall wax cold ? And who seeth not a wonderful 
great lack of charity, in those, who would now be taken for Christ's 
Church ? All that fear God in this realm truly, can tell more of this, 
than I can write. 

Therefore, dear Mother, receive some admonition of one of thy 
poor children, now going to be burned for the testimony of Jesus. 
Come again to God's truth; come out of Babylon; confess Christ 
and his true doctrine ; repent that which is past ; and make amends 
by declaring thy repentance by the fruits. Remember the readings 
and preachings of God's prophet, and true preacher, Martin Bucer. 
Call to mind the threatening of God, now something seen by 
thy children Leaver, and others. Let the exile of Leaver, Pilkinton, 
Grindal, Haddon, Home, Scory, Ponet, &c., something awake thee. 
Let the imprisonment of thy dear sons, Cranmer, Ridley, and 
Latimer, move thee. Consider the martyrdom of thy chickens, 
Rogers, Saunders, and Taylor. And now cast not away the poor 
admonition of me, going to be burned also, and to receive the like 
crown of glory with my fellows. Take to heart God's calling by us. 
Be not as Pharoah was, for then will it happen unto thee, as it did 
unto him; what is that? Hardness of heart; and what then? 
Destruction eternally both of body and soul. 

Ah, therefore, good Mother, awake, awake, repent, repent, 
bustle thyself, and make haste to turn to th Lord ; for else it shall 



215 

be more easy for Sodom and Gomorrah, in the day of judgment, 
than for thee. Oh, harden not your hearts ; oh, stop not your ears 
to-day, in bearing God's voice, though it be by me a most unworthy 
messenger. Oh, fear the Lord, for his anger is begun to kindle; 
ven now the axe is laid to the root of the tree. Ye know I 
prophesied truly to you before the sweat came, what would come if 
ye repented not your carnal gospelling; and now I tell you, before I 
depart hence, that the ears of men will tingle to hear of the ven- 
geance of God, that will fall upon you all, both town and university, 
if ye repent not, if ye leave not your idolatry, if ye turn not speedily 
to the Lord, if ye still be ashamed of Christ's truth, which ye know. 

Oh, Perne, repent; Oh, Thomson, repent; Oh, ye doctors, 
bachelors, and masters, repent ; Oh, mayor, aldermen, and town- 
dwellers, repent, repent, repent ; that ye may escape the near ven- 
geance of the Lord. Rend your hearts, and come apace, calling on 
the Lord. Let us all say, peccavimus, we have sinned, we have done 
wickedly, we have not hearkened to thy voice, O Lord. Deal not 
with us, after our deserts, but be merciful to our iniquities, for they 
are great. Oh, pardon us our offences ; in thine anger, remember 
thy mercy. Turn us unto thee, O Lord God of Hosts, for the glory 
of thy name's sake ; spare us, and be merciful unto us. Let not the 
wicked people say ; Where is now their God ? Oh, for thine own 
sake, for thy name's sake, deal mercifully with us. Turn thyself 
unto us, and us unto thee ; and we shall praise thy name for ever. 

If in this sort my dearly beloved, in heart and mouth, we come 
unto our Father, and prostrate ourselves before the throne of his 
grace, then surely, surely, we shall find mercy; then shall the Lord 
look merrily upon us, for his mercy's sake in Christ; then shall we 
hear him speak peace unto his people, for he is gracious and merciful, 
of great pity and compassion ; he cannot be chiding for ever, his 
anger cannot last long to the penitent. Though we weep in the 
morning, yet at night we shall have our sorrow to cease ; for he is 
exorable, and hath no pleasure in the death of a sinner, he rather 
would our conversion and turning. 

Oh, turn you now, and convert, yet once again I humbly beseech 
you, and then the kingdom of heaven shall draw nigh. The eye 
hath not seen, the ear hath not heard, nor is the heart of man able 



216 

to conceive the joys prepared for us if we repent, amend our lives, 
and heartily turn to the Lord. But if ye repent not, but be as ye 
were, and go on forwards with the wicked, following 1 the fashion of 
the world ; the Lord will lead you on with wicked doers, ye shall 
perish in your wickedness, your blopd will be upon your own heads ; 
your part shall be with hypocrites, where shall be weeping- and 
gnashing of teeth, ye shall be cast from the face of the Lord for 
ever and ever ; eternal shame, sorrow, woe, and misery, shall be both 
in body and soul to you, world without end. 

Oh, therefore, right dear to me in the Lord, turn you, turn you ; 
repent you, repent you ; amend, amend your lives, depart from evil, 
do good, follow peace and pursue it. Come out from Babylon, cast 
off the works of darkness, put on Christ, confess his truth, be not 
ashamed of his gospel, prepare yourselves to the cross, drink of God's 
cup before it come to the dregs ; and then shall I with and for you, 
rejoice in the day of judgment, which is at hand, and therefore pre- 
pare yourselves thereto, I heartily beseech you. 

And thus I take my Vale in seternum with you in this present 
life, mine own dear hearts in the Lord. The Lord of mercy be with 
.us all, and give us a joyful, and sure meeting in his kingdom. 
Amen, Amen. Out of prison, the 11 of February, anno, 1555.* 

Your own in the Lord for ever, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 64.t 

To all those that profess the name and true ' religion of our 
Saviour Jesus Christ, in Lancashire and Cheshire, and 
especially abiding in Manchester and thereabouts; JOHN 
BRADFORD, a most unworthy Servant of the Lord, now 
not only in Bonds, but also condemned in the same true 
religion, wisheth mercy and grace, peace, and increase of 
godliness, from God the Father of all piety, through the 

* See Appendix, Note (AA.) t Fox iii. 313. Cov. 263. 



217 



deserts of our Lord Jesus Christ, by the working of the 
most mighty and lively Spirit the Comforter, for ever. 
Amen. 



1 HEAR it reported credibly, my dearly beloved in the Lord, that 
my heavenly Father hath thought it good to provide, that as I have 
preached his true Gospel and doctrine amongst you by word, so I 
shall testify and confirm the same by deed ; that is, I shall with you 
leave my life, which by his providence I first received there, for in 
Manchester was I born, for a seal to the doctrine I have taught with 
you and amongst you ; so that if from henceforth, you waver in the 
same, you have no excuse at all. 

I know the enemies of Christ, who exercise this cruelty upon 
me, I speak it in respect of mine offence, which is none to them 
wards, think by killing of me amongst you, to affray you and 
others, lest they should attempt to teach Christ truly, or believe his 
doctrine hereafter; but I doubt not, but that my heavenly Father 
will, by my death, more confirm you in his truth for ever. 

And therefore I greatly rejoice, to see satan and his soldiers 
supplanted in their own sapience, which is plain foolishness amongst 
the wise indeed; that is, amongst such as have heard God's word, 
and do follow it; for they only are accounted wise of the wisdom of 
God our Saviour. 

Indeed, if I should simply consider my life, with that which it 
ought to have been ; and as God in his law requireth, then could I 
not but cry as I do; Righteous art thou, O Lord, and all thy 
judgments are true ; for I have much grieved thee, and transgressed 
thy holy precepts, not only before my professing the Gospel, but 
since also ; yea even since my coming into prison. I do not excuse, 
but accuse myself before God, and all his Church, that I have 
grievously offended my Lord God ; I have not lived his Gospel as I 
should have done, I have sought myself, and not simply and only 
his glory, and my brethren's commodity; I have been too un- 
thankful, secure, carnal, hypocritical, vain-glorious, &c. All which 
my evils, the Lord of mercy pardon me for his Christ's sake, as I 

2F 



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hope, and certainly believe he hath done, for his great mercy in 
Christ our Redeemer. 

But when I consider the cause of my condemnation, I cannot 
but lament that I do no more rejoice than 1 do, for it is God's verity 
and truth ; Bradford is nothing else but an instrument, in whom 
Christ and his doctrine are condemned, And therefore, my dearly 
beloved, rejoice, rejoice, and give thanks, with me and for me; that 
ever God did vouchsafe so great a benefit to our country, as to 
choose the most unworthy, I mean myself, to be one, in whom 
it would please him to suffer any kind of affliction, much more this 
violent kind of death, which I perceive is prepared for me, amongst 
you for his sake. All glory and praise be given unto God our 
Father, for his exceeding great mercy towards me, through Jesus 
Christ our Lord. 

But perchance ye will say unto me, What is the cause for the 
which you are condemned ? We hear say you deny all presence of 
Christ in his holy Supper, and so make it a bare sign and common 
bread, and nothing else. My dearly beloved, what is said of me, 
and will be, I cannot tell. It is told me that M. Pendleton is gone 
down to preach with you, not as he once recanted ; for ye all know 
how he hath preached contrary to that he was wont to preach, afore 
I came amongst you, but to recant that which he hath recanted. 
How he will speak of me, and report before I come, when I am 
come, and when 1 am burned, I much pass not; for he that is so 
uncertain, and will speak so often against himself, I cannot think he 
will speak well of me, except it make for his purpose and profit ; but 
of this enough. 

Indeed the chief thing which I am condemned for, as an heretic, 
is, because I deny the sacrament of the altar, which is not Christ's 
Supper, but a plain perverting of it; being used as the papists now 
use it, to be a real, natural, and corporal presence of Christ's body 
and blood, under the forms and accidents of bread and wine; that is, 
because I deny transubstantiation, which is the darling of the devil, 
and daughter and heir to antichrist's religion ; whereby the mass is 
maintained, Christ's Supper perverted, his sacrifice and cross 
imperfected, his priesthood destroyed, the ministry taken away, 
repentance repelled, and all true godliness abandoned. 



-219 



In the Supper of our Lord, or Sacrament of Christ's body and 
blood, I confess and believe, that there is a true and very presence 
to whole Christ, God and man, to the faith of the receiver; but not 
to the stander by or looker on ; as there is a very true presence of 
bread and wine, to the senses of him that is partaker thereof. This 
faith, this doctrine, which consenteth with the Word of God, and 
with the true testimony of Christ's Church, which the Popish Church 
doth persecute, will I not forsake; and therefore am I condemned 
as an heretic, and shall be burned. > 

But, my dearly beloved, this truth, which I have taught, and ye 
have received,! believed, and do believe, and therein give my life, I 
hope in God, shall never be burned, bound, nor overcome; but shall 
triumph, have victory, and be at liberty, maugre the head of all God's 
adversaries. For there is no counsel against the Lord, nor no 
device of man can be able to defeat the verity in any other, than in 
such as be children of unbelief; who have no love to the truth, and 
therefore are given up to believe lies. From which plague, the 
Lord of mercies deliver you and all this realm, my dear hearts in 
the Lord, I humbly beseech his mercy, Amen. 

And to the end ye might be delivered, right dear to me in the 
Lord, I shall, for my farewell with you for ever in the present life> 
heartily desire you all, in the bowels and blood, of our most merciful 
Saviour Jesus Christ, to attend unto those things, which now I shall 
shortly write unto you, out of the Holy Scriptures of the Lord. Ye 
know an heavy plague, or rather plagues, of God is fallen upon us, 
in taking away our good king, God's true religion, God's true pro- 
phets and ministers, &c. and setting over us such as seek not the 
Lord after knowledge, whose endeavours God prospereth wonder- 
fully, to the trial of many ; that his people may both better know 
themselves, and be known. 

Now the cause hereof is our iniquities, and grievous sins. We 
did not know the time of our visitation: we were unthankful unto 
God, we contemned the gospel, and carnally abused it, to serve our 
hypocrisy, our vain-glory, our viciousness, avarice, idleness, security, 
&c. Long did the Lord linger and tarry to have shewn mercy upon 
us, but we were ever the longer, the worse. Therefore most justly 
hath God dealt with us, and dealeth with us. Yea, yet we may see, 



220 



that his justice is tempered with much mercy; whereto let us 
attribute, that we are not utterly consumed ; for if the Lord should 
deal with us after our deserts, alas, how could we abide it ? In his 
anger therefore, seeing he doth remember his mercy undeserved, 
yea, undesired on our behalf; let us take occasion the more speedily, 
to go out to meet him, not with force and arms, for we are not so 
able to withstand him, much less to prevail against him; but to 
beseech him to be merciful unto us, and according to his wonted 
mercy to deal with us. Let us arise with David, and say, Enter not 
into judgment, O Lord, with thy servant, for in thy sight no flesh 
living shall be justified. Let us send ambassadors, with the cen- 
turion, and say, Lord, we are not worthy to.come ourselves unto thee, 
speak the word, and we shall have peace. Let us penitently, with 
the publican, look down on the earth, knock our hard hearts to 
burst them, and cry out, Oh, God, be merciful unto us wretched 
sinners. Let us, with the lost son, return and say, O, Father, we 
have sinned against heaven and earth, and beiore thee, we are 
unworthy to be called thy children. Let us, I say, do on this sort, 
that is, heartily repent us of our former evil life, and unthankful 
gospelling past, convert and turn to God, with our whole hearts, 
hoping in his great mercy through Christ, and heartily calling upon 
his holy name; and then undoubtedly we shall find and feel 
otherwise, than yet we feel, both inwardly and outwardly. Inwardly 
we shall feel peace of conscience, between God and us, which peace 
passeth all understanding ; and outwardly, we shall feel much 
mitigation of these miseries, if not an outward taking of them away. 
Therefore, my dearly beloved in the Lord, I, your poorest 
brother now departing to the Lord ; for my Vale in aeternum, for 
this present life, pray you, beseech you, and even from the very 
bottom of my heart, for all the mercies of God in Christ shewed 
unto you, most earnestly beg and crave of you out of prison ; as 
often out of your pulpits I have done, that ye will repent you, leave 
your wicked and evil life, be sorry for your offences, and turn to the 
Lord, whose arms are wide open to receive and embrace you; 
whose stretched out hand to strike to death, stayeth that he might 
shew mercy upon you. For he is the Lord of mercy, and God of all 
comfort, he will not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should 



221 



return, convert, and amend ; lie hath no pleasure in the destruction 
of men, his long 1 suffering draweth to repentance, before the time of 
vengeance, and day'of wrath, which is at hand, doth come. 

Now is the axe laid to the root of the tree, utterly to destroy the 
impenitent. Now is the fire gone out before the face of the Lord, 
and who is able to quench it ? Oh, therefore, repent you, repent you. 
It is enough to have lived as we have done ; it is enough to have 
played the wanton gospellers, the proud protestants, hypocritical 
and false Christians, as, alas, we have done. Now the Lord unto us 
is mercy and grace; oh, turn before he speak in wrath. Yet is 
there mercy with the Lord and plenteous redemption ; yet hath he 
not forgotten to shew mercy to them that call upon him ! Oh, then 
call upon him while he may be found, for he is rich in mercy, and 
plentiful to all them that call upon him, so that he that calleth upon 
the name of the Lord shall be saved. If your sins be as red as 
scarlet, the Lord saith he will make them as white as snow. He 
hath sworn, and never will repent him thereof, that he will never 
remember our iniquities, but as he is good, faithful, and true, so will 
he be our God, and we shall be his people. His law will he write 
in our hearts, and ingraft it in our minds, and never will he have in 
rnind our unrighteousness. 

Therefore, my dear hearts in the Lord, turn you, turn you to 
the Lord your Father, to the Lord your Saviour, to the Lord your 
comforter. Oh, why do you stop your ears, and harden your hearts 
to-day, when you hear his voice, by me, your poorest brother? Oh, 
forget not how that the Lord hath shewed himself true, and me his 
true preacher, by bringing to pass these plagues, which at my mouth 
and by my preaching, ye often heard before they came; especially 
when I treated of Noah's flood, and when I preached from the 23d 
chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel, on St. Stephen's day, the last time 
that [ was with you. 

And now by me, the same Lord sendeth you word, dear coun- 
trymen, that if ye will go on forwards in your impenitency, carna- 
lity, hypocrisy, idolatry, covetousness, swearing, gluttony, drunken- 
ness, whoredom, &c. wherewith, alas, alas, our country flovveth; 
if, I say, ye will not turn and leave off, seeing me now burned 
amongst you, to assure you on all sides how God seeketh you, and 



222 



Is sorry to do you hurt, to plague you, to destroy you, to take 
vengeance upon you ; Oh, your blood will be upon your own 

heads. 
i 

Ye have been warned and warned again by me in preaching, by 
me in burning ; as I said therefore, I say again, my dear hearts and 
darlings in the Lord, turn you, turn you, repent you, turn you, cease 
from doing evil, study to do well, away with idolatry, fly the Romish 
God and service, leave off from swearing, cut off carnality, abandon 
avarice, drive away darkness, fly from fornication and flattery, from 
murder and malice, destroy deceitfulness, and cast away all the works 
of darkness. Put on piety and godliness, serve God after his word, 
and not after custom, use your tongues to glorify God by prayer, 
thanksgiving, and confession of his truth, &c. 

Be spiritual, and by the spirit mortify carnal affections ; be sober, 
holy, true, loving, gentle, merciful, and then shall the Lord's wrath 
tease, not for this your doings' sake, but his mercy's sake. Go to, 
therefore, good contrymen, take this counsel of the Lord, by me now 
sent unto you, take it as the Lord's counsel, I say, and not as mine, 
that in the day of judgment, I may rejoice in you and for you ; the 
which thing I heartily desire, and not to be a witness against jou. 
My blood will cry for vengeance, as against the papists, God's 
enemies, whom 1 beseech God, if it he his good will, heartily to 
forgive ; yea, even them who put me to death, and are the causes 
thereof,, for they know not what they do; so will my blood cry for 
vengeance against you, ray dearly beloved in the Lord, if ye repent 
not, amend not, and turn not unto the Lord. 

Turn unto the Lord, yet once more I heartily beseech thee, thou 
Manchester, thou Bolton, Bury, Wigan, Liverpool, Ashton-under- 
Line, Mottrine, Stepport, Wimley, Eccles, Prestwich, Middleton, 
Radcliefe, and thou City of West Chester, where 1 have truly taught, 
and preached the word of God. Turn, 1 say unto you ail, and to 
all the inhabitants thereabouts, unto the Lord our God, and he will 
turn unto you. He will say unto his angel, it is enough, put up 
thy sword. The which thing that he will do, I humbly beseech his 
goodness, for the precious blood's sake of his dear Son, our Saviour 
Jesus Christ. Ah, good Brethren, take in good part these my last 
words unto every one of you. Pardon me mine offences and 



2*23 



negligence in behaviour amongst you. The Lord of mercy, pardon 
us all our offences, for our Saviour, Jesus Christ's sake, Amen. 
Out of prison, ready to come to you; the 11 of February, anno 
1555.* 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 65.t 

To the faithful, and such as profess the true doctrine of our 
Saviour Jesus Christ, dwelling at Walden and thereabouts ; 
JOHN BRADFORD, a most unworthy Servant of the Lord, 
now in Bonds, and condemned for the same true doctrine, 
wisheth grace, mercy, and peace ; with the increase of all 
godliness, in knowledge and living, from God the Father of 
comfort, through the deserts of our alone and free Redeemer 
Jesus Christ, by the mighty working of the most holy spirit, 
the Comforter for ever, Amen. 

WHEN I remember, how that by the providence and grace of 
God, I have been a man by whom it hath pleased him, through 
my ministry to call you to repentance and amendment of life, 
something effectually, as it seemed, and to sow amongst you, 
his true doctrine and religion; but that by my affliction, and the 
storms now risen to try the faithful, and to conform them like to the 
- image of the Son of God, into whose company we are called, ye 
might be faint hearted; I could not but out of prison, secretly, for 
my keepers may not know that I have pen and ink, to write unto 
you a signification of the desire I have, that you should not only be 
more confirmed in the doctrine I have taught amongst you, which I 
take on my death as I shall answer at the day of doom, I am 
persuaded to be God's assured, infallible, and plain truth ; but also 
should after your vocation, avouch the same by confession, pro- 
fession, and living. 

* See Appendix, Note, (BB.) ' t Fox iii. Cov. 269. 



224 

I have not taught you, my dearly beloved in the Lord, fables, 
tales, or untruth ; but I have taught you the verity, as now by my 
blood gladly, praised therefore be God, I shall seal up the same. 
Indeed, to confess the truth unto you and to all the Church of 
Christ, I do not think of myself but that I have most justly deserved, 
not only this kind, but also all kinds of death, and that eternally, for 
mine hypocrisy, vain-glory, uncleanness, self-love, covetousness, 
idleness, unthankfulness, and carnal professing of God's holy 
Gospel; living thereby not so purely, lovingly, and painfully, as I 
should have done ; the Lord of mercy, for the blood of Christ, pardon 
me, as I hope, yea 1 certainly believe, he hath done, for his holy 
name's sake through Christ. 

But, my dearly beloved, ye and all the whole world may see 
and easily perceive, that the prelates persecute in me, another thing 
than my iniquities ; even Christ himself, Christ's verity and truth, 
because I cannot, dare not, nor will not confess transubstantiation ; 
and how that wicked men, yea mice and dogs, eating the sacrament, 
which they term of the altar, thereby overthrowing Christ's holy 
Supper utterly, do eat Christ's natural and real body, born of the 
Virgin Mary. 

To believe and confess, as God's word teacheth, the primitive 
Church believed, and all the catholic and good holy fathers taught, 
for five hundred years at the least after Christ ; that in the Supper 
of the Lord, which the mass overthroweth, as it doth Christ's 
priesthood, sacrifice, death and passion, the ministry of his word, 
true faith, repentance, and all godliness, whole Christ, God and man, 
is present by grace to the faith of the receivers, but not of the 
standers by and lookers on, as bread and wine is to their senses, will 
not serve ; and therefore I am condemned, and shall be burned out 
of hand, as an heretic. Wherefore I thank my Lord God heartily, 
that will and doth vouch me worthy to be an instrument, in whom 
he himself would suffer. For ye see my affliction and death is not, 
simply because I have deserved no less, but much more at his hands 
and justice; but rather because I confess his verity and truth, and 
am not afraid, through his gift, so to do, that ye also might be 
confirmed in his truth. 

Therefore, my dearly beloved, I heartily do pray you, and so 



-225 



many as unfeignedly love me in God, to give with me and for me 
most hearty thanks to our heavenly Father, through our Saviour 
Jesus Christ, for this his exceeding great mercy towards me and you 
also; that your faith should not waver from the doctrine I have 
taught, and ye have received. For what can ye desire more to 
assure your consciences, of the verity taught by your preachers, than 
their own lives? Go to, therefore, my dear hearts in the Lord, 
waver not in Christ's religion, truly taught you and set forth in 
King Edward's days. Never shall the enemies be able to burn it, 
to imprison it, and keep it in bonds. Us they may imprison, they 
may bind, and burn, as they do and will do, so long as shall please 
the Lord ; but our cause, religion, and doctrine, which we confess, 
they shall never be able to vanquish and put away. 

Then idolatry and popish religion, shall never be built in the 
consciences of men that love the truth. As for those that love 
not God's truth, that have no pleasure to walk in the ways of the 
Lord ; in those, I say, the devil shall prevail, for God will give them 
strong illusion, to helieve lies. Therefore, dear brethren and sisters 
in the Lord, I humbly beseech you and pray you, in the bowels and 
blood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, now going to the 
death, for the testimony of Jesus, as oftentimes I have done before 
this present out of the pulpit, that ye would love the Lord's truth ; 
love it, I say, to live it, and frame your lives thereafter. 

Alas, ye know the cause of all these plagues fallen upon us, 
and of the success which God's adversaries have daily, is for our not 
living God's word. Ye know how that we are gospellers in lips and 
not in life ; we are carnal, full of concupiscence, idle, unthankful, 
unclean, covetous, arrogant, tipplers, crafty, subtle, malicious, 
false, backbiters, &c. ; and even glutted with God's tvord, yea we 
loathed it, as did the Israelites the manna in the wilderness ; and 
therefore, as to them, the Lord's wrath waxed hot, so doth it unto 
us. So that there is no remedy, for it is better late to turn than 
never to turn, but that we confess our faults, even from the bottom of 
our hearts, and with hearty repentance, which God work in us all, 
for his mercy's sake, we run unto the Lord our God ; who is 
exorable, merciful, and sorry for the evil poured out upon us ; and 
cry out unto him, with Daniel, We have sinned, we have sinned 

2c 



226 

grievously, Oh Lord God, against thy majesty; we have heaped 
iniquity upon iniquity, the measure of our transgressions floweth 
over, so that justly is thy wrath and vengeance fallen upon us; for 
we are very miserable, we have contemned thy long suffering, we 
have not hearkened to thy voice ; when thou hast called us by thy 
preachers, we hardened our hearts, and therefore now deserve that 
thou sendest thy curse hereupon to harden our hearts also ; that we 
should henceforth have eyes and see not, ears and hear not, hearts 
and understand not, lest we should be converted and saved. 

Oh, be merciful unto us, spare us, good Lord, and all thy people, 
whom thou hast dearly bought. Let not thine enemies triumph 
altogether and always against thee, for then will they be puffed up. 
Look down and behold the pitiful complaints of the poor, let the 
sorrowful sighings of the simple come in thy sight, and be not 
angry with us for ever. Turn us, O Lord God of Hosts, unto thee, 
and turn thee unto us, that thou mayest be justified in thy sweet 
sentences, and overcome when thou art judged, as now thou art of 
our adversaries ; for they say, Where is their God ? Can God deliver 
them now? Can their Gospel serve them? Oh, Lord, how long? 
For the glory of thy name, and for thy honour's sake, in the bowels 
and blood of Jesus Christ, we humbly beseech thee, come and help 
us, for we are very miserable. 

On this sort, I say, dearly beloved, let us publicly and privately 
bewail our sins; but so that hereto we join ceasing from wilfulness 
and sin of purpose, for else the Lord heareth not our prayers, as 
David saith ; and in St. John it is written, The impenitent sinners 
God heareth not. Now impenitent are they who purpose not to 
amend their lives ; as for example, not only those who follow still 
their pleasures, in covetousness, uncleanness, carnality ; but those 
also who, for fear or favour of man, do against their conscience, 
consent to the Romish rags, and resort to the rotten religion, 
communicating in service and ceremonies with the papists; thereby 
declaring themselves to love the world more than God, to fear man 
more than Christ, to dread the loss of temporal things more than 
of eternal ; in whom it is evident, the love of God abideth not ; for 
he that loveth the world, hath not God's love abiding in him, saith 
the Evangelist. 



227 



Therefore, my dear hearts, and dear again in the Lord, remember 
what ye have professed, Christ's religion and name, and the 
renouncing- of the devil, sin, and the world. Remember that before 
ye learned A. B. C., your lesson was Christ's cross. . Forget not 
that Christ will have no disciples, but such as will promise to deny 
themselves, and take up their cross, mark, they must take it up, and 
follow him ; and not the multitude, custom, and use. 

Consider, for God's sake, that if we gather not with Christ, we 
scatter abroad. What should it profit a man to win the whole world, 
and lose his own soul? We must not forget that this life is a 
wilderness, and not a paradise ; here is not our home, we are now 
in warfare ; we must needs fight, or else be taken prisoners. Of all 
things we have in this life, we shall carry nothing with us. If 
Christ be our captain, we must follow him as good soldiers. If we 
keep company with him in affliction, we shall be sure of his society 
in glory. If we forsake not him, he will never forsake us. If we 
confess him, he will confess us ; but if we deny him, he will deny 
us. If we be ashamed of him, he will be ashamed of us. Wherefore, 
as he forsook Father, heaven, and all things, to come to us ; so let 
us forsake all things, to come to him, being sure and most certain, 
that we shall not lose thereby. Your children shall find, and feel 
it double, yea treble, whatsoever ye lose for the Lord's sake ; and ye 
shall find and feel peace of conscience and friendship with God, 
which is more worth than all the goods of the world. 

My dearly beloved, therefore, for the Lord's sake, consider these 
things, which I now write unto you of love, for my Vale and last 
farewell for ever, in this present life. Turn to the Lord, repent ye 
your evil and unthankful life, declare repentance by the fruits, take 
time whilst you have it, come to the Lord whilst he calleth you, run 
into his lap whilst his arms are open tp embrace you, seek him whilst 
he may be found, call upon him whilst time is convenient ; forsake 
and fly from all evil, both in religion, and in the rest of your life 
and conversation ; let your lights so shine before men, that they may 
see your good works, and praise God in the day of his visitation. 

Oh, come again, come again, ye stray children, and I will 
receive you, saith the Lord. Convert and turn to me, and I will 
turn unto you; why will ye needs perish? As sure as I live, 



228 

sweareth the Lord, I will not your death, turn therefore unto me. 
Can a woman forget the child of her womb? If she should, yet 
will not I forget you, saith the Lord your God. I am he, I am he, 
who putteth away your sins, for mine own sake. Oh then, dear 
friends, turn, I say, unto your dearest Father; cast not these his 
sweet and loving words to the ground, and at your tail, for the Lord 
watcheth on his word to perform it, which is in two sorts ; to them 
that lay it up in their hearts and believe it, will he pay all and 
eternal joy and comfort ; but to them that cast it at their backs, and 
wilfully forget it; to them, 1 say, will he pour out indignation and 
eternal shame. 

Wherefore, I heartily yet once more beseech and pray you and 
every of you, not to contemn this poor and simple exhortation, which 
now out of prison, I make unto you, or rather the Lord by me. Loth 
would I be, to be a witness against you in the last day, as of truth I 
must be if ye repent not, if ye love not God's gospel, yea, if ye live 
it not. Therefore, to conclude, repent, love God's gospel, live it in 
all your conversation; so shall God's name be praised, his plagues 
mitigated, his people comforted, and his enemies ashamed. Grant 
all this thou gracious Lord God, to every of us, for thy dear Son's 
sake, our Saviour Jesus Christ ; to whom with thee and the Holy 
Ghost, be eternal glory, for ever and ever, Amen. The 12 of Feb- 
ruary, 1555. 

By the bondman of the Lord, your afflicted poor brother. 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 66.* 

To MASTER SHALLCROSS AND HIS WIFE, 

Dwelling in Lancashire. 

THE peace of conscience in Christ, and through faith in his blood, 
which as it passeth, and is far better than any worldly riches or joy ; 

* Cov. 359. 



229 



so is it to be redeemed with the loss of the dearest treasures we have, 
rather than we should lose it; this peace I wish unto you good 
M. Shallcross, and unto your good yoke-fellow, my good sister in 
the Lord, now and for ever, Amen. 

Hitherto, although I could not write unto you, yet as I trust you 
pray for me, so I have not been forgetful of you, in my poor prayers 
to Almighty God, my dear Father through Christ; to whom I 
give humble praises that he hath given you grace as yet, for so I 
hear, to keep yourself undented in his service, which far differeth 
from the Romish rags revived of late, and justly for our sins and 
unthankful using his true religion and holy ceremonies, once again 
in peace and use amongst us, 

In token whereof, J mean that I have not been forgetful of you, 
I thought good now when I may write, to signify the same, as well 
to renew our mutual love in God, and care for one another by hearty 
prayer; as to excite and provoke you both to thankfulness for God's 
graces hitherto, especially in the point before spoken of, and to be 
diligent and wary that you unto the end continue in the same; for 
you know that perseverance in godliness and purity, is required of 
us, and that none other shall be crowned but such as fight lawfully. 

Go to, therefore, and tight on a good fight stoutly and manfully ; 
that is, as you know God is not to be worshipped and served, but 
after his word written, and not after unwritten verities, or the 
device, fancy, and pleasures of men or women, in what state soever 
they be; accordingly behave yourself, as inwardly in God's sight, 
so outwardly before your brethren. Seem not to approve by your 
outward man, that which the inward man detesteth. It is not 
enough to believe with the heart, except the mouth and fact confess 
the same. Nor it is not enough with the mouth to acknowledge a 
verity, and by our fact and deed to destroy the same. 

Paul speaketh sometimes of deniers of God, not only with their 
lips and tongue, but also with their deed and life. Let not the 
world, or the more part of men, be an example to you to follow 
them, or do as they do, in the service of God. Christ saith, 
Follow me, speaking of himself, who is the pattern and sampler we 
should set before us ; and not the world or more part, which windeth 
the wide and broad way, whose end doth lead to perdition and 



230 

everlasting woe; but rather let the example of such as walk in the 
narrow and strait way, which bringeth to life endless, encourage 
you to walk with them, although the number of them be but few ; 
and the personages of them be utterly contemned with the world, 
and in the world, which world cannot love, no, nor know indeed, 
the children of God, because it canr.ot receive the spirit of God. 
And therefore, as the ape her young ones, so it, the world 1 mean, 
doth think her own birds the fairest, contemning, with deadly hate, 
all others that will not follow her judgment. 

But what saith Christ? Be of good cheer ; although the world 
will persecute you, yet I have overcome the world. Oh, comfortable 
sentence, I have overcome the world. This undoubtedly hemeaneth 
for you and me and all other his children, that he hath overcome the 
world for us. But by what means? Surely by suffering contempt, 
wrong, false reports, and even very shameful and most bitter death. 

If he went this way, and won the victory this way, as I trust we 
know; let us as his servants, whose state ought not to be above our 
master's, not be dismayed of contempt, of wrong, of loss of goods or 
life itself; but rather joyfully suffer the same as men, knowing we 
have better portions in heaven, and that this is the sure way to 
victory most victorious ; for by many tribulations must we enter into 
the kingdom of heaven; if we would come thither, except for 
tribulation's sake, we shall with ease, and worldly quietness, go to 
hell. 

You know what Paul saith, AH that will live godly in Christ 
Jesu, must suffer persecution ; wherefore in that you are in Christ 
Jesu, I dare say you will continue, though persecution come to you, 
being assured that it cannot come, except God have so decreed ; and 
if he have so decreed, then cannot you but receive it, or else a cross 
which will be much worse. Willingly therefore take what cross the 
Lord shall offer, and then the Lord will make you able to bear it, 
and never tempt you further than he will make you strong enough. 
Yea, all the hairs of your head he will number and keep, so that 
one of them shall not perish ; but if you should refuse God's cross, 
especially in suffering the loss of any thing for his sake, who giveth 
you all the good that ever you have and keepeth it ; if, I say, you 
refuse ; be certain the plagues of God will be poured down, first on 



231 



your soul and conscience in hardening your heart, and blinding 
your mind, either by bringing you into despair, or into a contempt 
and carnal security; whereafter will ensue loss of the dearest things 
you have, if God love you, or else he will conserve the same, to 
your eternal destruction. 

I write not this, as distrusting your constancy in God's cause, 
God forbid, for methinks I am assured of your godly zeal ; but I do 
it as I said, that you may be the more heedy, wary, diligent, and 
earnestly given to call upon the name of God, for his help and grace 
of perseverance, who is more ready to give than we to ask. 

I know this kind of writing is madness to the world, foolishness 
to reason, and sour to the flesh ; but to you who are a man of God, 
and by profession in baptism h?ve forsaken the world, and do con- 
sider things after the reach of faith, and have tasted of the good 
spirit of God, and of the life to come: unto such a one I say, as I 
trust you be, this kind of writing is otherwise esteemed. For here 
you are but a pilgrim, your home is in heaven, your treasures are 
there hoarded,* where thieves cannot come to steal them ; there is 
your heart, and therefore you can and will say, as the philosopher 
said when he was robbed of all he had, omnia mea mecum porto, 
I carry all with me. If he t an heathen, took his riches to be the 
world's rather than his, how much more should we do so? 

Therefore, my dear brother, accordingly prepare yourself, as you 
have done and do 1 hope. Read the second of Ecclesiasticus, how 
he counselleth them that will serve God, to prepare themselves to 
temptation. Often set before your eyes the judgment of Christ, his 
coming in the clouds, and the resurrection, which is now our com- 
fort, especially in afflictions. I write to you none otherwise than f 
am persuaded, I thank God, and purpose to go before you. I know 
there is an eternal life, and I hope to be partaker of it through 
Christ. I know this is the way thither, I mean by suffering. I 
know that if we suffer with him, we shall reign with him. I know 
that by the cross he maketh us like to Christ here, that we might be 
like to him elsewhere ; therefore I write to you not words only. 

And hereupon I am the more earnest, as to admonish, so to pray 

* Hurded. 



you, to cleave still to the Lord, and his true religion, which you 
have received, and I for my part am sure that I have preached unto 
you. For the confirmation whereof, as I am in bonds, so I trust in 
the goodness of God and his power, to give my life in and for the 
same; that you and others might be certain and follow as God 
shall call you, and vouch you worthy. Remember that die you 
must, but when, as you know not, so where and how, it is uncertain 
to you. Again, all that you have you must leave behind you, for 
nothing shall go with you, but a good or an evil conscience. More- 
over, to whom you shall leave your goods it is hid from you ; for you 
may purpose, but God will dispose. 

Therefore if God will have you to die, or to leave your goods for 
his cause, how much are you bound then to bless God? Sure you 
may be, that then you cannot perish, for of all ways to heaven it is 
the most sure way. Your goods God will preserve, so that your 
children shall find them, although the wicked spoil every piece of 
them ; for the righteous man's seed, I have not seen, saith David, beg 
their bread, but God will bless them unto a thousand generations; 
the which thing I pray God to remember, towards your children, 
for his name's sake, Amen. 

Thus will I betake you to God, and to his holy word ; which is 
able, as to teach you which way to serve God, so to save you, if you 
believe and love it. If I thought it might do you any good, 1 would 
send you a book, which James Bradshaw already hath, to teach you 
how you should behave yourselves, especially concerning the mass; 
I wrote it since ray trouble. Commend me to T. Riddleston, although 
I fear me, he has defiled himself in this false service. That book 1 
wish he would read ; as you shall advertise me, I will do in sending 
to him. I shall pray God to illuminate his eyes with his grace. 
Commend me to Sir W. Charelton, who I trust hath kept himself 
pure from idolatry; God grant him so continue. Written in haste, as 
it appeareth, from the Compter in the Poultry. By your's in Christ. 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



233 

No. 67.* 

CONFERENCE WITH THE EARL OF DERBY'S 
SERVANT. 



On the 12 of February there came to Bradford one of the Earl 

of Derby's servants. 

Serv. JVIy Lord hath sent me to you, he willeth you to tender 
yourself, and he would be a good lord unto you. 

Brad. I thank his Lordship for his good will towards me; but 
in this cause I cannot tender myself, more than God's honour. 

Serv. Ah, M. Bradford, consider your mother, sisters, friends, 
kinsfolk, and country; what a great discomfort it will be unto them, 
to see you die as an heretic. 

Brad. I have learned to forsake father, mother, brother, sister, 
friend, and all that ever I have; yea, even mine own self, for else I 
cannot be Christ's disciple. 

Serv. If my Lord should obtain for you, that ye might depart 
the realm ; would ye not be content to be at the Queen's appoint- 
ment, where she would appoint you beyond the sea? 

Brad. No, I had rather be burned in England, than be burned 
beyond the seas; for I know that if she should send me to Paris, 
Louvaine, or some such place, forthwith they would burn me. 



No. 68. t 
CONFERENCE withPERCIVAL CRESSWELL. 

ON the 14 of February, Percival Cresswell, an old acquain- 
tance of Bradford's, came to him bringing with him a kinsman of 
M. Fecknam's. 

* Fox iii. 292. t Fox iii. 292. 

2 H 



-234 



Cress. I pray you let me make labour for you ? 

Brad. You may do what ye will. 

Cress. But tell me what suit I should make for you ? 

Brad. Forsooth that ye will do, do it not at my request, for I 
desire nothing at yo ,r hands. If the Queen will give me life, I will 
thank her. If she will banish me, I will thank her. If she will 
burn me, I will thank her. If she will condemn me to perpetual 
imprisonment, I will thank her. 

Hereupon Cresswell went away, and about eleven of the clock 

he and the other man came again ; and brought a book of 

More's* making, desiring Bradford to read it over. 

Brad. Good Percival, 1 am settled for being moved in this 
article. 

Cress. Oh, if ye loved me, do one thing for me. 

Brad. What is it? 

Cress. Desire and name what learned man or men, ye will have 
to come unto you, my Lord of York, my Lord of Lincoln, my Lord 
of Bath, and others will gladly come unto you. 

Brad. No, never will I desire them, or any other, to come to 
confer with me ; for I am as certain of my doctrine, as I am of any 
thing. But for your pleasure, and also that all men may know 
I am not ashamed to have my faith sifted and tried, bring whom ye 
will, and 1 will talk with them. 



No. 69.t 
CONFERENCE WITH DR. HARDING. 

ABOUT three o'clock in the afternoon Dr. Harding* came to 
Bradford, and after a great and solemn protestation, shewing how 
that he had prayed to God before he came, to turn his talk to 

* Most probably his book against Luther. t Fox iii. 292. 

J Chaplain to the Bishop of Lincoln, and the same to whom Bishop JowelTs admir- 
able defence was addressed in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. 



235 



Bradford's good; he began to tell of the good opinion he had of 
Bradford, and spent the time in such tattling, so that their talk 
was to little purpose; save that Bradford prayed him to consider 
from whence he was fallen, and not to follow the world, nor to 
love it; for the love of God is not where the world is. 

Harding counted Bradford in a damnable estate, as one being 
out of the church ; and therefore willed him to take heed of his 
soul, and not to die in such an opinion. 
Brad. What M. Harding! I have heard you with these ears, 

maintain that which I stand in. 

Hard. I grant that I have taught that the doctrine of transub- 

stantiation was a subtle doctrine, but otherwise I never taught it 

And so he inveighing against marriages of priests, and namely 
against Peter Martyr, Martin Bucer, Luther, and such, who for 
breaking their vows were justly given up unto heresies, as he 
said ; and Bradford seeing him altogether given up to popery, 
after admonishment thereof, bad him farewell. 



No. 70.* 

BRADFORD'S FIRST CONFERENCE WITH 
ARCHDEACON HARPSFIELD. 



ON the 15 of February, Percival Cresswell came with M. 
Harpsfield, Archdeacon of London; and after formal salutations, 
made a long oration ; that all men even Infidels, Turks, Jews, 
Anabaptists, and Libertines, desire felicity as well as the 
Christians, and that every one thinketh they shall attain to it by 
their religion. To which Bradford answered briefly, that he 
spake not far amiss. 

Harps. But the way thither is not all alike; for the Infidels 
by Jupiter and Juno, the Turk by his Alcoran, the Jew by his 

* Fox iii. 292 



236 



Talmud, do believe to come to heaven. For so may I speak of 
such as believe the immortality of the soul. 

Brad. You speak truly. 

Harps. Well then, here is the matter, to know the way to this 
heaven. 

Brad. We may not invent any manner of ways. There is but 
one way, and that is Jesus Christ, as he himself doth witness; I am 
the way. 

Harps. It is true that you say, and false also. I suppose that 
you mean by Christ, believing 1 in Christ? 

Brad. I have learned to discern betwixt faith and Christ; albeit 
I confess, that whoso believeth in Christ, the same shall be saved. 

Harps. No, not all who believe in Christ; for some shall say; 
Lord, Lord, have not we cast out devils, &c.? But Christ will answer 
in the day of judgment to these, Depart from me, 1 know you not. 

Brad. You must make difference betwixt believing and saying 1 , 
I believe; as for example, if one should say and swear he loveth 
you, for all his saying ye will not believe him, when you see he 
goeth about to utter and do all the evil against you he can ? 

Harps. Well, this is not much material; there is but one way, 
Christ. How come we to know him ? Where shall we seek to find 
him? 

Brad. Forsooth, we must seek him by his word, and in his 
word, and after his word. 

Harps. Very good ; but tell me now how first we came into 
the company of them that could tell us, but by baptism? 

Brad. Baptism is the sacrament, by the which outwardly we 
are engrafted into Christ; 1 say outwardly, because I dare not 
exclude from Christ all that die without baptism. I will not tie 
God, where he is not bound. Some infants die, whose parents 
desire baptism for them ; and cannot have it. 

Harps. To these we may think perchance, that God will shew 
mercy ? 

Brad. Yea, the children whose parents do contemn baptism, 
will not I condemn, because the child shall not bear the father's 
offence. 

Harps. Well, we agree, that by baptism then we are brought, 



237 

and, as a man would say, begotten to Christ. For Christ is our 
father, and the Church his spouse is our mother. As all men 
naturally have Adam for their father, and Eve for their mother; so 
all spiritual men have Christ for their father, and the Church for 
their mother; and as Eve was taken out of Adam's side, so was the 
Church taken out of Christ's side, whereout flowed blood for the 
satisfaction and purgation of our sins. 

Brad. All this is truly spoken. 

Harps. Now then tell me whether this Church of Christ hath 
not been, always ? 

Brad. Yea, since the creation of man, and shall be for ever. 

Harps. Very good ; but yet tell me whether this Church is a 
visible Church or no? 

Brad. It is no otherwise visible, than Christ was here on earth ; 
that is, by no exterior pomp or shew, that setteth her forth 
commonly; and therefore to see, we must put on such eyes as good 
men put on to see and know Christ, when he walked here on earth. 
For as Eve was of the same substance that Adam was of, so was the 
Church of the same substance that Christ was of, flesh of his flesh, 
and bone of his bones, as Paul saith.* Look therefore how Christ 
was visibly known to be Christ, when he was on earth, that is, by 
considering him after the word of God, so is the Church known. 

Harps. I do not come to reason at this present, and therefore I 
will go on forward. Is not this Church a multitude ? 

Brad. Yes, that it is; howbeit, latet anguis in herba, as the 
proverb is ; for in your question is a subtlety. What visible mul- 
titude was there in Elias's time, or when Moses was on the mount, 
and Aaron and all Israel worshipping the calf? 

Harps. Ye divert from the matter. 

Brad. No, nothing at all ; for I do prevent you, knowing well 
whereabout you go ; and therefore fewer words might well serve, if 
that you so would. 

Harps. Well, [ perceive you have knowledge, and by a little 
perceive I the more. Tell me yet more, whether this multitude have 
not the ministry, or preaching of God's word ? 

* Ephes. v. 



238 



Brad. Sir, ye go about the bush. If ye understand preaching 
for confessing of the Gospel, I will go with you ; for else if you will, 
you may know that persecution often letteth preaching. 

Harps. Well, I mean it so. Tell me yet more; hath it not the 
sacraments administered? 

Brad. It hath the sacraments, howbeit the administration of 
them is often letted. But I will put you from your purpose, because 
I see whereabout you go. If heretics have baptism, and do baptize, 
as they did in St. Cyprian's time; you know this baptism is baptism, 
and not to be reiterate. 

This Bradford did speak, that the slanders by might see, that 

though the Papist's Church have baptism, which we have received 

of them; yet therefore it is not the true Church, neither need 

we to be baptized again. 

Harps* You go far from the matter, and 1 perceive you have 
more errors than one. 

Brad. So you say, but that is not enough till you prove them. 

Harps. Well, this Church is a multitude. Hath it not the 
preaching of the Gospel, and the ministration of the sacraments ? 
And yet more, hath it not the power of jurisdiction ? 

Brad. What jurisdiction is exercised in persecution and 
affliction ? 

Harps. I mean by jurisdiction, admonishing one another, and 
so forth. 

Brad. Well, go to ; what then? 

Harps. It hath also succession of bishops. 

And here he made much ado to prove that this was an 

essential point. 

Brad. You say as you would have it; for if this part fail you, 
all the Church that you go about to set up, will fall down. You 
shall not find in all the Scripture, this your essential part of 
succession of bishops.* In Christ's Church antichrist will sit. And 
Peter telleth us, as it went in the Old Church, afore Christ's 



' Succession of Bishops is no essential part of the Church ; but rather accidens 
which, being interrupted, yet the Church may stand; as it did both 
before Christ's coming and after at the coming of antichrist." Fox, in Loco. 



239 



coming; so will it be in the New Church, since Christ's coming-; 
that is, as there were false prophets, and such as have rule were 
adversaries to the true prophets; so shall there be, saith he,* false 
teachers, even of such as arc bishops, and bear rule amongst the 
people. 

Harps. You go always out of the matter; but I will prove 
further the succession of bishops. 

Brad. Do so. 

Harps. Tell me, were not the apostles bishops ? 

Brad.' No, except you will make a new definition of a bishop; 
that is, give him no certain place. 

Harps. Indeed, the apostle's office was not the bishop's office; 
for it was universal ; but yet Christ instituted bishops in his Church, 
as Paul saith, He hath given pastors, prophets, &c.; so that, I trow, 
it be proved by the Scriptures, that the succession of bishops, is an 
essential point. 

Brad. The ministry of God's word and ministers, is an 
essential point; but to translate this to the bishops, and their 
succession, is a plain subtlety ; and therefore that it may be plain, 
I will ask you a question. Tell me, whether that the Scripture 
knew any difference between bishops and ministers, which ye called 
priests f 

Harps. No ! 

Brad. Well, then go on forwards, and let us see what ye shall 
get now by the succession of bishops; that is, of ministers; which 
cannot be understood of such bishops as minister not, but lord it. 

Harps. I perceive that you are far out of the way. By your 
doctrine, you can never shew in your Church, a multitude which 
ministereth God's word and his sacraments, which hath jurisdiction 
and succession of bishops, which hath, from time to time, believed 
as you believe, beginning now and so going upwards, as I 1 will do 
of our doctrine ; and therefore are ye out of the Church, and so 
cannot be saved. Perchance you will bring me downwards, a shew 
to clear people's eyes ; but to go upwards, that you can never do, 
and this is the true triah 

* 2 Peter ii. 



240 



Brad. Ye must and will, I am assured, give me leave to follow 
the scriptures and examples of good men. 
Harps. Yea. 

Brad. Well then, Stephen was accused and condemned as I 
am, that he had taught new and false doctrine, before the Fathers of 
the Church then, as they were taken. Stephen, for his purgation, 
improveth their accusation. But how? Doth he it hy going up- 
wards? No, but by coming downwards, beginning at Abraham' 
and continuing still till Isaiah's time, and the people's captivity. 
From whence he maketh a great leap, until the time he was in, 
which was, I think, upon four hundred years, and called them by 
their right names, hell-hounds, rather than heaven-hounds. On this 
sort will I prove my faith, and that can you never do yours. 

Harps. Yea, Sir, if we did know that you had the Holy Ghost, 
then could we believe you. 

Here Bradford would have answered, that Stephen's enemies 
would not believe he had the Holy Ghost, and therefore they did 
as they did. But as he was speaking 1 , M. Harpsfield rose up, 
and the keeper and others who stood by, began to talk gently, 
praying Bradford to take heed to what JYJ. Archdeacon spake, 
who still said that Bradford was out of the Church. 
Brad. Sir, I am most certain that I am in Christ's Church, and 
I can shew a demonstration of my religion, from time to time con- 
tinually. 

God our Father, for the name and blood of his Christ, 
be merciful unto us, and unto all his people; and deliver 
them from false teachers, and blind guides,' through whom, 
alas, I fear me, much hurt will come to this Realm of 
England. God, our Father, bless us, and keep us in his 
truth, and poor Church for ever. Jimen. 
Then the Archdeacon departed, saying that he would come 
again the next morning. 



241 

No. 71.* 

BRADFORD'S SECOND CONFERENCE WITH 
HARPSFIELD. 

On the 16 February in the morning 1 , the Archdeacon, and the 
other two with him, came again ; and after a few by-words spoken, 
sat down. M. Archdeacon began a very long* oration, first re- 
specting what they had said, and how far they had gone over- 
night. ' And therewith did begin to prove upwards, succession of 
Bishops here in England for eight hundred years ; in France, at 
Lyons, for one thousand two hundred years ; in Spain, at His- 
palen, for eight hundred years; in Italy, at Milan, for one thou- 
sand two hundred years ; labouring by this to prove his Church. 
He used all succession of bishops in the East Church, for the 
more confirmation of his words ; and so concluded with an exhor- 
tation, and an interrogation. The exhortation, that Bradford 
would obey this church ; the interrogation, whether Bradford 
could shew any such succession, for the demonstration of his 
Church, for so he called it, which followed. 
Brad. My memory is evil, so that I cannot answer particularly 
your oration. Wherefore I will generally do it, thinking because 
your oration is rather to persuade than to prove, that a smaller answer 
shall serve. If Christ or his apostles, being here on earth, had been 
required by the prelates of the Church then, to have made a demon- 
stration of that Church, by succession of such high priests, as had 
approved the doctrine which he taught, 1 think that Christ would 
have done as I do. That is, he would have alleged that which up- 
holdeth the Church, even the verity, the AVord of God taught and 
believed ; not by the high priests, who of long time had persecuted 
it, but by the prophets and other gdod simple men, who perchance 
xvere counted for heretics of the Church ; which Church was not 
tied to succession, but to the Word of God. And this to think, St. 
Peter giveth me occasion, when he saith, that as it went in the 
Church before Christ's coming, so shall it go in the Church after his 

* Fox ill. 24. 

2i 



242 



coming ; but then the pillars of the Church, were persecutors of the 
Church; therefore the like we must look for now. 

Harps. I can gather and prove succession in Jerusalem, of the 
High Priests from Aaron's time. 

Brad. I grant, but not such succession as allowed the truth. 

Harps. Why, did they not allow Moses' law? 

Brad. Yea, and keep it, as touching the books thereof, as you 
do the Bible; and Holy Scriptures. But the true interpretation and 
meaning of it, they did corrupt, as you have done, and do; and 
therefore the persecution which they stirred up against the Prophets 
and Christ, was not for the law, but for the interpretation of it. For 
they taught as you do now, that we must fetch the interpretation of 
the Scriptures at your hands. But to make an end, death 1 look 
daily for, yea hourly, and I think my time is but very short; 
therefore I had need spend as much time with God as I can, 
whilst I have it, for his help and comfort; and therefore I pray you 
bear with me, that I do not now particularly, and in more words, 
answer your long talk. If I saw death not so near me as it is, I 
would then weigh every piece of your oration, if you would give me 
the sum of it, and I would answer accordingly; but because I dare 
not, nor i will not leave off looking and preparing for that which is 
at hand, I shall desire you to hold me excused, though I do as I do, 
and heartily thank you for your gentle good will. I shall heartily 
pray God, our Father, to give you the same light and life, I do wish 
to myself. 

And so Bradford began to rise up, hut then began M. Arch- 
deacon to tell him, that he was in a very perilous case ; and that 

he was sorry to see him so settled. 

Harps. As for death, whether it be nigh or far off 1 know not, 
neither forceth it, so that you did die well. 

Brad. 1 doubt not in this case, but that I shall die well; for as I 
hope and am certain, my death shall please the Lord, t>o I trust I 
shall die cheerfully, to the comfort of his children. 

Harp*. But what if you be deceived ? 

Brad. What if you should say the sun did not shine now. 3 * 

* The sun did shiae through the window where they sat. Fox. 



243 

Harps. Well, 1 am sorry to see you so secure and careless. 

Brad. Indeed I am more carnally secure and careless than I 
should be, God make me more vigilant; but in this case I cannot be 
so secure, for I am most assured I am in the truth. 

Harps. That are ye not ; for you are out of the catholic church. 

Brad. No, though you have excommunicated me out of your 
Church, yet am I in the Catholic Church of Christ; and am, and by 
God's grace shall be a child, and an obedient child of it for ever. I 
hope Christ will have no less care for me, than he had for the blind 
man excommunicated of the synagogue. And further I am sure that 
the necessary articles of the faith, I mean the twelve articles of the 
creed, 1 confess and believe with that which you call the holy 
Church ; so that even your Church hath taken too much upon her to 
excommunicate me for that, which by the testimony of my Lord of 
Durham, in the Book of the Sacrament lately put forth, was free 
many an hundred year after Christ, to believe or not believe. 

Harps. What is that? 

Brad. Transubstantiation. 

Harps. Why ? Ye are not condemned therefore only. 

Brad. For that, and because I deny that wicked men do receive 
Christ's body. 

Harps. You agree not with us in the presence, nor in any thing 
else. 

Brad. How you believe, you know ; for my part I confess a 
presence of whole Christ, God and man, to the faith of the receiver. 

Harps. Nay, you must believe a real presence in the sacrament. 

Brad. In the sacrament? Nay, I will not shut him in, nor tie 
him to it, otherwis'e than faith seeth and perceiveth. If I should 
include Christ really present in the sacrament, or tie him to it other- 
wise than to the faith of the receiver ; then the wicked men should 
receive him, which I do not, nor will, by God's grace, believe. 

Harps. More pity, but a man may easily perceive, you make no 
presence at all, and therefore you agree not therein with us. 

Brad. I confess a presence, and a true presence, but to the faith 
of the receiver. 

What, saith one that stood by, of Christ's very body which 

died for us ? 



244 



Brad. Yea, even of whole Christ, God and man, to feed the 
faith of him that receiveth it. 

Harps. Why. this is nothing else but to exclude the omnipo- 
tency of God, and all kind of miracle in the sacrament? 

Brad, I do not exclude his omnipotency, but you do it rather; 
for I believe that Christ can accomplish his promise, the substance 
of bread and wine being there, as well as the accidents, which you 
believe not. When we come to the sacrament, we come not to feed 
our bodies, and therefore we have but a little piece of bread; but we 
come to feed our souls with Christ by faith, which the wicked do 
want, and therefore they receive nothing butpanem Domini, as Judas 
did, and not panem Dominum, as the other apostles did. 

Harps. The wicked do receive the very body of Christ, but not 
the grace of his l>ody. 

Brad. They receive not the body, for Christ's body is no dead 
carcase; he that receiveth it, receiveth the spirit, which is not with- 
out grace I trow. 

Harps. Well, you have many errors ; you count the mass for 
abomination, and yet St. Ambrose said mass. 

And so he read out of a written book, a sentence of St. Am- 
brose to prove it. 

Brad. Why Sir, the mass as it is now, was nothing so in St. 
Ambrose's time. Was not the most part of the canon made since by 
Gregory and Scholasticus ? 

Harps. Indeed a great piece of it was made, as ye say, by Gre- 
gory; but Scholasticus* was before St. Ambrose's time. 

Brad. 1 ween not ; howbeit 1 will not contend. St. Gregory 
saith, that the apostles said mass without the canon, only with the 
Lord's prayer. 

Harps. You say true ; for the canon is not the greatest part of 
the mass; the greatest part is the sacrifice, elevation, transubstanti- 
ation, and adoration. 



* It appears to be uncertain who is here referred to. St. Gregory mentions him. 
Lib. vii. Ind. 2. Epist. 63.Petrie i. 151. Preservative against Popery, vol. ii. 
Tit. vi. ch. 2. p. 75. Fabricius, in his Bibliotheca Graeca, refers to two persons who 
bore the above cognomen, viz. John of Antioch, vol. x. 158. and who is probably the in- 
dividual alluded to; and John Climacu?, vol. viii. 615. who was Abbot of Mount Sinai. 



245 

\ 

Brad. I can away with none of those. 

Harps. No, I think the same ; but yet, hocfacite, telleth plainly 
the sacrifice of the church. 

Brad. You confound sacrifices, not discerning betwixt the sa- 
crifice of the church, and for the church. The sacrifice of the church, 
is no propitiatory sacrifice, but a gratulatory sacrifice, and as for, hoc 
facite, is not referred to any sacrificing 1 , but to the whole action of 
taking', eating, &c. 

Harps. You speak not learnedly now; for Christ made his 
supper orfly to the twelve apostles, not admitting his mother, or any 
of the seventy disciples to it. Now the apostles do signify the priests. 

Brad. I think that you speak, as you would men should under- 
stand it ; for else you would not keep the cup away from the laity. 
We have great cause to thank you, that you will give us of your 
bread ; for I perceive you order the matter so, as though Christ had 
not commanded it to his whole church. 

Then Harpsfield would have proved elevation by a place of Basil. 

Brad. I have read the place, which seemeth to make nothing 
for elevation ; but be it as it is, this is no time for me to scan the 
doubtful places of the doctors with you. I have been in prison long 
without books, and all necessaries for study : and now death draweth 
nigh, and I by your leave, must now leave off, to prepare for him. 

Harps. If I could do you good, I would be right glad ; either 
in soul or body, for you are in a perilous case both ways. 

Brad. Sir, I thank you for your good will, my case is as it is. I 
thank God it was never so well with me ; for death to me shall be life. 

Cress. It were best for you to desire M. Archdeacon that he 
would make suit for you, that you might have a time to confer. 

Harps. I will do the best I can, for I pity his case, 

Brad. Sir, I will not desire any body to sue for time for me. I 
am not wavering, neither would I that any body should think I were 
so. But if you have the charity and love you pretend towards me, 
and thereto do think I am in an error, I think the same should move 
you to do as you would be done to. As ye think of me, so do I of 
you, that you are far out of the way; and I do not only think it, 
but also am thereof most assured. 

And in this, and such like gentle talk, they departed. 



246 
No. 72.* 

CONFERENCE WITH THE ARCHBISHOP 

OF YORKt AND THE BISHOP OF 

CHICHESTER.J 



ON the 23 February, the Archbishop of York, and the Bishop 
of Chichester, came to the Compter to speak with Bradford. 
When he was come before them, they both, and especially the 
Archbishop of York, used him very gently; they would have 
him to sit down, and because he would not, they also would not 
sit. So they all stood ; and whether he would or not, they would 
needs he should put on, not only his nightcap, but his upper cap 
also, saying to him, that obedience was better than sacrifice. 

Now thus standing together, my Lord of York began to tell 
Bradford how that they were not sent to him, but of love and 
eharity they came to him: and he, for that acquaintance also 
which he had with Bradford, more than the Bishop of Chichester 
had. Then after commending Bradford's godly life, he con- 
cluded with this question, How he was certain of salvation, and 
of his religion ? 

After thanks for their good will, 

Brad. By the word of God, even by the Scriptures, 1 am certain 
of salvation and religion. 

Heath. Very well said ; but how do ye know the word of God 
and the Scriptures, but by the Church ? 

Brad, Indeed, my Lord, the Church was and is a mean, to 
tring a man more speedily to know the Scriptures and the word of 
God ; as was the woman of Samaria, a mean that the Samaritans 
knew Christ. But, as when they had heard him speak, they said, 
Now we know that he is Christ, not because of thy words, but 
because we ourselves have heard him; so after we come to the 
hearing and reading of the Scriptures, shewed unto us, and discerned 

* Fox iii. 295. f Heath. j Day. 



247 



by the Church, we do believe them, and know them as Christ's 
sheep; not because the Church saith they are the Scriptures, but 
because they be so, being thereof assured by the s ame Spirit, who 
wrote and spake them. 

Heath. You know, in the apostles' time at the first, the word 
was not written. 

Brad. True, if you mean it for some books of the New 
Testament; but else for the Old Testament, Peter telleth us, 
Firmiorem sermonem propheticum habemus ; We have a more sure 
word of prophecy ; not that it is simply so, but in respect of the 
apostles, who being alive and encompassed with infirmity, attributed 
to the word written more firmity, as wherewith no fault could be 
found; whereas, for the infirmity of their persons, men perchance 
might have found some fault at their preaching ; albeit in very deed, 
no less obedience and faith ought to have been given to the one, 
than to the other; for all proceedeth forth of one spirit of truth. 

Heath. That place of Peter is not so to be understood of the 
word written. 

Brad. Yea, Sir, that it is, and of none other, 

Day. Yea, indeed, M. Bradford doth tell you truly in that point. 

Heath. Well, you know that Irenaeus and others do magnify 
much, and allege the Church against the heretics, and not the 
Scriptures. 

Brad. True, for they had to do with such heretics as did deny 
the Scriptures, and yet did magnify the apostles; so that they were 
enforced to use the authority of those churches, wherein the apostles 
had taught, and which had still retained the same doctrine. 

Day. You speak the very truth; for the heretics did refuse alt 
Scriptures, except it were a piece of Luke's Gospel. 

Brad. Then the alleging of the Church cannot be principally 
used against me, who am so far from denying of the Scriptures, that 
I appeal unto them utterly, as to the only judge. 

Heath. A pretty matter, that you will take upon you to judge 
the Church. 1 pray you, where hath your Church been hitherto? 
For the Church of Christ is catholic and visible hitherto. 

Brad, My Lord, I do not judge the Church, when I discern it 



248 



from that congregation, and those which be not of the Church ; and 
I never denied the Church to be catholic and visible, although it he 
more visible at some times than at others. 

Day. I pray you tell me where the Church which allowed your 
doctrine, was these four hundred years? 

Brad. I will tell you, my Lord, or rather you shall tell yourself, 
if you will tell me this one thing, where the Church was in Elijah's 
time, when Eljah said that he was left alone? 

Day. That is no answer. 

Brad. I am sorry that you say so; but this will I tell your 
Lordship, that if you had the same eyes, wherewith a man might 
have espied the Church then ; you would not say it were no 
answer. The fault why the Church is not seen of you, is not 
because the Church is not visible, but because your eyes are not 
clear enough to see it. 

Day. You are much deceived, in making this collation betwixt 
the Church then and now. 

Heath. Very well spoken, my Lord ; for Christ said, Edificabo 
Ecclesiam, I will build my Church ; and not I do, or have built it, 
but I will build it. 

Brad. My Lords, Peter teacheth me to make this collation, 
saying ; As in the people there were false prophets, who were most 
in estimation afore Christ's coming ; so shall there be false teachers 
amongst the people after Christ's coming; and very many shall 
follow them. And as for your future tense, I hope your Grace will 
not thereby conclude Christ's Church not to have been before, but 
rather that there is no building in the Church, but by Christ's 
work only ; for Paul and A polios be but waterers. 

Day. In good faith, I am sorry to see you so light in judging 
the Church. 

Heath. He taketh upon him, as they all do, to judge the 
Church. A man shall never come to certainty that doth as they do. 

Brad. My Lords, I speak simply what I think, and desire 
reason to answer my objections. Your affections and sorrow cannot 
be my rules. If that you consider the order and cause of my con- 
demnation, I cannot think but that it should something move your 



249 

Honours. You know it well enough, for you heard it, no matter 
was laid against me, but what was gathered upon mine own 
confession. Because I did deny transubstantiation, and the wicked 
to receive Christ's body in the sacrament, therefore I was condemned 
and excommunicated; but not of the Church, although the pillars of 
the Church, as they be taken, did it. 

Day. No, I heard say the cause of your imprisonment was, for 
that you exhorted the people to take the sword in the one hand, and 
the mattock in the other. 

Brad. ' My Lord, I never meant any such thing, nor spake any 
thing in that sort. 

Heath. Yea, and you behaved yourself before the Council so 
stoutly at the first, that you would defend the religion then ; and 
therefore worthily were you imprisoned. 

Brad. Your Grace did hear me answer my Lord Chancellor to 
that point. But put case I had been so stout, as they and your 
Grace make it; were not the laws of the realm on my side then? 
Wherefore unjustly was I imprisoned; only that which my Lord 
Chancellor propounded, was my confession of Christ's truth against 
transubstantiation, and of that which the wicked do receive, as 1 
said. 

Heath. You deny the presence. 

Brad. I do not, to the faith of the worthy receivers. 

Heath. Why? What is that to say other, than that Christ 
lieth not on the altar ?. 

Brad. My Lord, I believe no such presence. 

Day. It seemeth that you have not read Chrysostom; for he 
proveth it. 

Brad. Hitherto I have been kept well enough without books ; 
howbeit this I do remember of Chrysostom, that he saith that Christ 
lieth upon the altar, as the seraphims, with their tongues, touch our 
lips with the coals of the altar in heaven ; which is an hyperbolical 
locution, of which you know Chrysostom is full. 

Heath. It is evident that you are too far gone ; but let us come 
then to the Church, out of the which ye are excommunicate. 

Brad. \ am not excommunicate out of Christ's Church, my 
Lord, although they who seem to be in the Church, and of the 



250 

Church, have excommunicated me ; as the poor blind man was, 
John ix. I am sure Christ receiveth me. 

Heath. You do deceive yourself. 

Brad. Assuredly, as I think you did well to depart from the 
Romish Church, so I think you have done wickedly to couple 
yourselves to it again; for you can never prove that, which you call 
the Mother Church, to he Christ's Church. 

Day. Ah, M. Bradford, you were but a child when this matter 
began. I was a young man, and then coming from the University, 
I went with the world ; but I tell you it was always against my 
conscience. 

Brad. I was but a child then, howbeit as I told you, I think 
you have done evil. For ye are come, and have brought others to 
that wicked man, who sitteth in the Temple of God, that is, in the 
Church; for it cannot be understood of Mahomet, or any out of the 
Church, but of such as bear rule in the Church. 

Heath. See how you build your faith upon such places of 
Scripture as are most obscure, to deceive yourself; as though ye 
were in the Church, where you are not. 

Brad. Well, my Lord, though I might by fruits judge of you 
and others; yet will I not utterly exclude you out of the Church. 
And if I were in your case, I would not condemn him utterly that 
is of my faith in the sacrament; knowing as you know, that at the 
least eight hundred years after Christ, as my Lord of Durham 
writeth, it was free to believe or not to believe transubstantiatiori. 

Heath. This is a toy that you have found out of your own 
brain; as though a man not believing as the Church doth, that is, 
transubstantiation, were of the Church. 

Day. He is an heretic, and so none of the Church, that doth 
hold any doctrine against the definition of the Church ; as a man to 
hold against transubstantiation. Cyprian was no heretic, though 
he believed rebaptizing of them who were baptized of heretics, 
because he held it before the Church had denned it; whereas if he 
had holden it after, then had he been an heretic. 

Brad. Oh, my Lord, will ye condemn to the devil any man 
that believeth truly the twelve articles of the faith, wherein I take 
the unity of Christ's Church to consist, although in some points he 



251 

believe not the definition of that, which ye call the Church? I 
doubt not but that he holdeth firmly the articles of our belief, though 
in other things he dissent from your definition, yet he shall be saved. 

Heath. 1 

j^ ai > Yea, this is your divinity. 

Brad. No, it is Paul's, who saith, that if they hold the founda- 
tion Christ, though they build upon him straw and stubble, yet they 
shall be saved. 

Heath. Lord God, how you delight to lean to the hard and dark 
places of the scriptures. 

Day. I will shew you how that Luther did excommunicate 
Zuinglius for this matter. 

And so he read a piece of Luther making for his purpose. 

Brad. IVly Lord, what Luther writeth, as you much pass not, 
no more do I in this case. My faith is not builded on Luther, Zu- 
inglius, or (Ecolampadius in this point; and indeed to tell you 
truly, 1 never read any of their works in this matter. As for them, 
I do think assuredly that they were and are God's children, and 
saints with him. 

Heath. Well, you are out of the communion of the Church. 

Brad. I am not, for it consisteth, and is in faith. 

Heath. Lo, how you make your Church invisible; for you 
would have the communion of it to consist in faith. 

Brad. For to have communion with the Church needeth no 
visibleness of it; for communion consisteth as I said, in faith, 
and not in exterior ceremonies, as appeareth both by Paul, who 
would have one faith; and by Irenseus to Victor, for the observation 
of Easter, saying that, disagreeing of fasting, should not break the 
agreeing of faith. 

Day. The same place hath often even wounded my conscience, 
because we dissevered ourselves from the See of Rome. 

Brad. Well, God forgive you ; for you have done evil to bring 
England thither again. 

Here my Lord of York took a book of paper of common 

places, and read a piece of St. Augustin, contra epistolam funda- 

menti ; how that there were many things that did hold St. Austin 

in the bosom of the Church ; consent of people and nations, 









252 

authority confirmed with miracles, nourished with hope, increased 

with charity, established with antiquity. Besides this, there 

holdeth me in the Church, said St. Augustin, the succession of 

priests from St. Peter's seat until this present bishop. Last of all 

the very name of catholic doth hold ine, &c. 

Heath. Lo, how say you to this of St. Augustine? Paint me 
out your Church thus. 

Brad. My Lord, these words of St. Austin make as much for 
me as for you; although I might answer, that all this, if they had 
been so firm as you make them, might have been alleged against 
Christ and his apostles. For there was the law and the ceremonies, 
consented to by the whole people, confirmed with miracles, anti- 
quity, and continual succession of bishops, from Aaron's time until 
that present. 

Day. In good faith, M. Bradford, you make too much of the 
state of the Church, before Christ's coming. 

Brad. Therein I do but as Peter teacheth, 2 Pet. ii. and Paul 
very often. You would gladly have your Church here very glorious, 
and as a most pleasant lady. But as Christ said, Beatus est quicun- 
que nonfueru offemiis per me, so may his Church say, Blessed are 
they that are not offended at me. 

Heath. Yea, you think that none is of the Church, but such as 
suffer persecution. 

Brad. What I think, God knoweth; I pray your Grace judge 
me by my words and speaking, and mark what Paul saith, Ail that 
will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution. Sometimes 
Christ's Church hath rest here; but commonly it is not so, and espe- 
cially towards the end her form will be more unseemly. 

Heath. But what say you to St. Austin? Where is your Church 
that hath the consent of people and nations? 

Brad. Even all people and nations that be God's people, have 
consented with me, and I with them in the doctrine of faith. 
Heath. Lo, ye go about to shift off all things. 
Brad. No, my Lord ; I mean simply, and so speak, God 
knoweth. 

Heath. St. Augustine doth here talk of succession, even from 
Peter'* seat. 



253 

Brad. Yea, that seat then was nothing so much corrupt as it is 
now. 

Heath. Well, you always judge the Church. 

Brad. No, my Lord, Christ's sheep discern Christ's voice, but 
they judge it not; so they discern the Church, but judge her not. 

Heath. Yes, that they do. 

Brad. No, and it like your Grace; and yet full well may one 
not only doubt, but judge also of the Romish Church; for she 
obeyeth not Christ's voice, as Christ's true Church doth. 

Heath. Wherein? 

Brad. In Latin service, and robbing the laity of Christ's cup in 
the sacrament; and in many other things, in which it committeth 
most horrible sacrilege. 

Day. Why? Latin service was in England, when the Pope 
was gone. 

Brad. True; the time was in England when the Pope was 
away, but not all popery; as in King Henry's days. 

Heath. Latin service was appointed to be sung and had in the 
choir, where only were clerici, that is, such as understood Latin ; the 
people sitting in the body of the church, praying their own private 
prayers; and this may yet well be seen by making of the chancel 
and choir, so as the people could not co'me in, or hear them. 

Brad. Yea, but in Chrysostom's time, and also in the Latin 
Church in St. Jerome's time, all the Church, saith he, reboat^ Amen ; 
that is, answereth again mightily, Amen. Whereby we may see, 
that the prayers were made so, that both the people heard them and 
understood them. 

Day. Ye are to blame to say that the Church robbeth the peo- 
ple of the cup. 

Brad. Well, my Lord, term it as it please you ; all men know 
that the laity hath none of it. 

Day. Indeed I would wish the church would define again, that 
they might have it, for my part. 

Brad. If God make it free, who can define to make it bound? 

Heath. Well, M. Bradford, we lose our labour; for ye seek to 
put away all things which are told you to your good ; your Church 
no man can know. 









254 



Brad. Yes, that ye may well. 
Heath. I pray you whereby? 

Brad. Forsooth Chrysostom saith, Tantummodo per scriptures, 
only by the scriptures ; and this speaketh he very oftentimes, as ye 
well know. 

Heath. \ ndeed that is of Chrysostom in opere imperfecto, which 
may be doubted of. The thing whereby the Church may be known 
best, is succession of Bishops. 

Brad. No, my Lord, Lyra* full well writeth upon Matthew, 
The Church consisteth not in men, by reason either of secular or 
temporal power; but in men indued with true knowledge, and con. 
fession of faith, and of verity. And in Hilary's time, you know he 
writeth to Aurentius, that the Church was hidden rather in caves 
and holes, than did glisten and shine in thrones of preeminence. 

Then came one of the servants and told them that my Lord 
of Durham tarried for them at M. York's house; and this was 
after they had tarried three hours with Bradford. And after 
their man was come, they put up their written books of com- 
mon places, and said that they lamented his case. They willed 
him to read over a book which did Dr. Croome good ; and so 
wishing him good in words, they went their way, and poor Brad- 
ford to his prison. 



No. 73.t 
CONFERENCE with TWO SPANISH FRIARS. 



ON the 25 February, about eight o'clock in the morning, two 
Spanish Friars came to the Compter, to talk with Bradford, sent, 
as they said, by the Earl of Derby ; of whom the one was the 

* Nicholas of Lyra, a converted Jew, so called from the place of hits birth, near 
Evrenx in Normandy. His Commentaries on the Bible, and other controversial 
works against the Jews, are deservedly in high repute. 

t Fox iii. 299. 



255 

Icing's confessor, and the other was Alphonsus, who had before 

written a popish book against heresies. 

When Bradford was called, the confessor asked him in Latin, 

for their talk was in that language, whether he had not seen nor 

heard of one Alphonsns,* that had written a book against 

heresies. 

Brad. I do not know him. 

Con. Well, this man, pointing to Alphonsus, is he. We are 
corne to you of love and charity, by the means of the Earl of Derby, 
because you desired to confer with us. 

Brad. I never desired your coming, nor to confer with you, or 
any other. But seeing you are come of charity, as you say, I cannot 
but thank you; and as touching conference, though I desire it not, 
yet I will not refuse to talk with you, if you will. 

' Alpk. It were requisite that you did pray unto God, that ye 
might follow the direction of God's spirit, that he would inspire 
you, so that ye be not addicted to your self, will, or wit. 

Whereupon Bradford made a prayer, and besought God to 

direct all their wills, words, and works, as the wills, words, and 

works of his children for ever. 

Alph. Yea, you must pray with your heart. For if you speak 
but with tongue only, God will not give you his grace. 

Brad. Sir, do not judge, lest ye be judged. You have heard 
my words, now charity would have you leave the judgment of the 
heart to God. 

Alpk. You must be, as it were, a neuter, and not wedded to 
yourself, but as one standing in doubt; pray and be ready to receive 
what God shall inspire; for in vain lboureth our tongue to speak 
else. 

Brad. Sir, my sentence, if you mean it for religion, must not 
be in a doubting or uncertain, as 1 thank God I am certain in that 



* Alphonsus a Castro, a Franciscan Friar, confessor to King Philip, and famous 
for his treatHJfr De Hceresibus. In a sermon preached before his master, he declaimed 
at large against taking away people's lives for religion ; inveighed against the English 
bishops for doing so ; and said that they had not learned it in Scripture, which taught 
bishops in the spirit of meekness to instruct those that opposed them ; and not to 
burn them for their consciences. Burnet's Hist. Reform, vol. ii. pt. i. 477. 



256 



for which I am condemned; 1 have no cause to doubt of it, but 
rather to be most certain of it; and therefore I pray God to confirm 
me more in it. For it is his truth, and because it is so certain and 
true that it may abide the light, I dare be bold to have it looked on, 
and confer it with you, or any man ; in respect whereof I am both 
glad of your coming-, and thank you for it. 

Alph. What is the matter whereof you were condemned ? We 
know not. 

Brad. Sir, L have been in prison almost two years, I never 
transgressed any of their laws, wherefore I might justly be im- 
prisoned, and now am I condemned only because I frankly confessed, 
whereof I repent not, my faith concerning the sacrament, when I 
was demanded in these two points ; one, that there is no transub- 
stantiation ; the other, that the wicked do not receive Christ's body. 
Alph. Let us look a little on the first. Do you not believe 
that Christ is present really and corporally in the form of bread ? 

Brad. No, I do believe that Christ is present to the faith of 
the worthy receiver, as there is present bread and wine to the senses 
and outward man. As for any such presence of including and 
placing Christ, I believe not, nor dare believe. 

Alph. I am sure you believe Christ's natural body is circum- 
scriptible. 

And here he made much ado of the two natures of Christ, 
how that the one is every where, and the other is in his proper 
place ; demanding such questions as no wise man would have 
spent any time about. At length because the friar had forgotten 
to conclude, Bradford put him in mind of it, and thus then at 
length he concluded ; how that because Christ's body was circum- 
scriptible, concerning the human nature in heaven, therefore it 
was so in the bread. 

Brad. How hangeth this together ? Even as if you should 
say; because you are here, ergo, it must needs follow that you are 
at Rome; or thus you reason, because Christ's body is in heaven, 
ergo, it is in the sacrament, under the form of bread ; which no wise 
man will grant. 

Alph. Why? Will you believe nothing but that which is 
expressly spoken in the Scriptures? 



257 

Brad. Yes, Sir, I will believe whatsoever you shall, by demon- 
stration out of the Scriptures, declare unto me. 

Alph. He is obstinate. Is not God able to do it ? 

Brad. Yes, and I deny not but that it is so, to the faith of the 
worthy receiver. 

Alph. To the faith? How is that? 

Brad. Forsooth, Sir, as I have no tongue to express ijt, so I 
know ye have no ears to hear and understand it ; for faith is more 
than man can utter. 

Alph. But I can tell all that I believe. 

Brad. You believe not much then. For if you believe the 
joys of heaven, and believe no more thereof than you can tell, you 
will not yet desire to come thither. For as the mind is more 
capable and receiveable than the mouth ; so it conceiveth more than 
tongue can express. 

Alph. Christ saith, it is his body. 

Brad. And so say I, after a certain manner. 

Alph. After a certain manner ? That is, after another manner 
than it is in heaven? 

Brad. St. Augustine telleth it more plainly, that it is Christ's 
body after the same manner, as circumcision was the covenant of 
God, and the sacrament of faith is faith ; or to make it more plain, 
as baptism, and the water of baptism, is regeneration. 

Alph- Very well said, baptism, and the water thereof, is a 
sacrament of God's grace and spirit in the water, cleansing the 
baptized. 

Brad, No, Sir, away with your enclosing ; but this I grant, 
that after the same sort Christ's body is in the bread, on which sort 
the grace and spirit of God is in the water. 

Alph. In water is God's grace by signification. 

Brad. So is the body in the bread in the sacrament.* 

Alph. You are much deceived, in that you make no difference 
between the sacraments that be standers, and the sacraments that 



* As grace is in the water of baptism, so is the body in the sacrament. But 
grace is in the water by signification ; ergo, so is the body in the sacrament. Fox, 
in Loco. 

2L 



258 

are transitory and passers by. As for example, the sacrament of 

orders, which you deny, though St. Augustine affirm it, it is a 

stander, although the ceremony be past; but in baptism, so soon 

as the body is washed, the water ceaseth to be a sacrament. 

Brad. Very good, and so- it is in the Supper of the Lord ; no 

longer than it is in use, is it Christ's sacrament. 

Here was the friar in a wonderful rage, and spake so high, as 
often he had done before, that the whole house rang again, 
chafing with om and cho. He hath a great name of learning, 
but surely he hath little patience. For if Bradford had been 
any thing hot, one house could not have held them. At the 
length he cometh to this point, that Bradford could not find in 
the Scripture, baptism and the Lord's Supper, to bear any 
similitude together. And here he triumphed before the conquest, 
saying, that those men would receive nothing but Scripture, and 
yet were able to prove nothing by the Scripture. 
Brad. Be patient, and you shall see that by the Scripture, I 

will find baptism and the Lord's Supper coupled together. 

Alph. No, that canst thou never do ; let me see a text of it. 
Brad. Paul saith ;* that as we are baptized into one body ; so 

have we drunk of one spirit, meaning of the cup in the Lord's 

Supper. 

Alph. Paul hath no such words. 

Brad. Yes, that he hath. 

Con. I trow he hath not. 

Brad. Give me a Testament, and I will shew you. 

So a priest that sat by them gave him his Testament, and he 
shewed them the plain text. Then they looked one upon 
another. In fine the friars found this simple shift, that Paul 
spake not of the sacrament. 
Brad. Well, the text is plain enough, and there are of the 

fathers, who do so understand the place; for Chrysostom doth 

expound it so. 

Alphonsus, who had the Testament in his hand, desirous to 
suppress this foil, turned the leaves of the book from leaf to leaf, 

* 1 Cor. xii. 13. 



259 



till he came to 1 Cor. xi, 29, where he read, how that he was 

guilty, who made no difference of the Lord's body. 

Brad. Yea, but therewith he saith, 1 Cor. xi. 28, He that 
eateth of the bread, calling it bread still, and that after consecration, 
as ye call it, as in 1 Cor. x. 16 ; The bread which we break, &c. 

Alph. Oh, how ignorant are ye, who know not that things 
after their conversion, do retain the same names which they had 
before, as Moses's rod. 

Brad. Sir, there is mention made of the conversion, as well as 
that the same appeared to the sense ; but here ye cannot find it so. 
Shew me one word how the bread is converted ; and I will then 
say, ye bring some matter that maketh for you. 

Alph. You hang on your own sense. 

Brad. No, that I do not ; for I will bring you forth the fathers 
of the Church, eight hundred years after Christ, to confirm this 
which I speak. 

Alph. No, you have the Church against you. 

Brad. I have not Christ's Church against me. 

Alph. Yes, that you have. What is the Church ? 

Brad. Christ's wife, the chair and seat of verity ? 

Alph. Is she visible ? 

Brad. Yea, that she is, to them that will put on the spectacles 
of God's word to look on her. 

Alph. This Church hath defined the contrary, and that I will 
prove by all the good fathers from Christ's ascension, even for eight 
hundred years at the least, continually. 

Brad. What will you so prove, transubstantiation ? 

Alph. Yea, that the bread is turned into Christ's body. 

Brad. You speak more than you can do. 

Alph. That I do not. 

Brad. Then will I give place. 

Alph. Will you believe? 

Brad. Belief is God's gift; therefore cannot I promise; but I 
tell you that I will give place ; and I hope I shall believe his truth 
always, so good is he to me in Christ, my Saviour. 

In all the disputations at this time, it is evident the Vulgate was chiefly referred 
to by both side*. 



260 

Here the Friar found a great fault with Bradford, that he made 
no difference betwixt habitus zndactus; as though actus, which 
he called credulity, had been in our power. But this he let pass, 
and came again, asking Bradford if he could prove it as he said, 
whether he would give place ? 

Brad. Yea, that I will. Then calling for paper, pen and ink ; 
what and if I prove by the testimony of the fathers, that continually for 
eight hundred years after Christ, at the least, they did believe that the 
substance of bread doth remain in the sacrament ? What will ye do ? 
Alph. I will give place. 

Brad. Then write you here that you will give place, if I so 
prove; and I will write that I will give place, if you so prove ; because 
ye are the antient, ye shall have the preeminence. 

Here the Friar fumed marvellously, and said, I came not to 
learn at thee: Are not here witnesses? meaning the priests, Be 
not they sufficient? But the man was so chafed, that if Brad- 
ford had not passed over this matter of writing, the Friar would 
have fallen to plain scolding. 

At the length the King's Confessor asked Bradford, what the 
second question was. 

Brad. That wicked men receive not Christ's body in the sacra- 
ment, as St. Augustin speaketh of Judas, that he received panem 
Domini, but not panem Dominum. 
Alph. St. Augustin saith not so. 
Brad. Yes that doth he. 

So they arose and talked no more of the matter; but went 
away, without bidding Bradford farewell. 

After they were gone, one of the priests came, and willed 
Bradford not to be so obstinate. 

Brad. Sir, be not you so wavering ; in all the scriptures cannot 
you find me, Non est panis. 

Priest. Yes, that I can in five places. 
Brad. Then I will eat your book. 

So the book was opened, but no place found ; and he went his 
way smiling. God help us. 



261 

No. 74.* 

To a Woman who desired to know his mind, whether she, 
refraining from the Mass, might be present at the Popish 
Mattins or no. 

I BESEECH Almighty God, our heavenly Father, to be merciful 
unto us, and to increase in you, my good sister, the knowledge and 
love of his truth; and at this present give me grace so to write to 
you something of the same, as may make to his glory, and our own 
comfort and confirmation in him, through Christ our Lord, Amen. 

Whether you may come with safe conscience to the Church now, 
that is, to the service used commonly, in part, as at mattins or at 
evensong or no. is your desire to have me to write something, for 
your further stay. My dearly beloved, although your benefits 
towards me, might perchance make you to think, that in respect 
thereof 1 would bear with that, which else were not to be born 
withal ; yet by God's grace I am purposed simply, and without all 
such respect in this matter, to speak to you the truth according to 
my conscience, as I may be able to stand unto, when I shall come 
before the Lord. 

First therefore, go about to learn perfectly, the first lesson to be 
learned of all that profess Christ, that is to deny yourself, and in 
nothing to seek yourself. Secondly, learn after this, to begin at the 
next lesson to it, which is to seek God in all things you do and 
leave undone. Thirdly, know that then you seek God, when in 
his service you follow his word and not man's fancies, custom, 
multitude, &c. and when, with your brother, you follow the rule of 
charity, that is, to do as you would be done by. 

In these is a sum of all the council I can give you; if that 
hereto I admonish you, of the service now used, which is not 
according to God's word, but rather against God's word, directly 
and in manner wholly. So that your going to the service is a 
declaration that you have not learned the first lesson, nor never can 

* Fo* iii. 338. Cov. 401. 



262 

learn it so long- as you go thither; therefore the second lesson yois 
shall utterly lose, if you cease not the seeking of yourself, that is, if for 
company, custom, father, or friend, life or goods, you seem to allow 
that which God disalloweth. And this that you the better may 
perceive, I purpose by God's grace, briefly to shew. 

First, the mattins and evensong is in a tongue, forbidden publicly 
to be used in the congregation, that perceiveth not the tongue. Read 
how Paul affirmeth it, to pray in an unknown tongue, to be against 
God's Commandment. This one, I trow, were enough, if nothing 
else were; for how can God's glory be sought, where his word and 
commandment is wilfully broken ? How can charity to man stand, 
when charity to God, which is obedience to his word, is overthrown ? 
Again, both in mattins and in evensong, is idolatry maintained for 
God's service; for there is invocation and prayer made to saints, 
departed this life, which robbeth God of that glory which he will 
give to none other. 

Moreover, this service and the setters forth of it, condemneth 
the English service as heresy ; thereby falling: into God's curse, which 
is threatened to all such as call good evil, and evil good ; whereof 
they shall be partakers, that do communicate with them. Besides 
this, this latin service is a plain mark of antichrist's catholic syna- 
gogue ; so that the communicants and approvers of it, thereby declare 
themselves to he members of the same synagogue, and so cut off 
from Christ and his Church ; whose exterior mark is the true admi- 
nistration of God's word and sacraments. 

Furthermore, the example of your going thither to allow the 
religion of antichrist, as doubtless .you do in deed, howsoever in 
heart you think ; occasioneth the obstinate, to be utterly intractable, 
the weaker papists to be more obstinate, the strong gospellers to be 
sore weakened, and the weaker gospellers to be utterly overthrown ; 
which things, how great offence they be, no pen is able to utter by 
letters. 

All these evils you shall be guilty of, that company with those 
in religion exteriorly, from whom you are admonished to fly. If 
Christ be Christ, follow him; gather with him, least you scatter 
abroad : serve God, not only in spirit, but also in body. Make not 
your body, now a member of Christ, a member of antichrist, Coine 



out from amongst them, saith the Lord, and touch no unclean 
thing 1 . Confess Christ and his truth, not only in heart, but also in 
tongue, yea in very deed, which few gospellers do. 

Indeed they deny him, and therefore had need to tremble, lest 
that Christ will deny them in the last day ; the which day, if it were 
set before our eyes often, then would the pleasures and treasures of 
this world be but trifles. 

Therefore, good Sister, often have it before your eyes, daily set 
yourself and your doings, as before the judgment seat of Christ now, 
that hereafter you be not called into judgment. Think that it will 
little profit you to win the whole world, and to lose your own soul. 
Mark Christ's lessons well ; he that will save his life shall lose it. 
The Father from heaven commandeth you, to hear Christ, and he 
saith, follow me ; this can you not do and follow idolatry or idola- 
ters.* Fly from such, saith the Scripture. This God grant to you, 
to me, and to all God's children, Amen. Thus in haste I have 
accomplished your request, God grant that as you have done me 
much good bodily, so this may be a little mean to do you some good 
spiritually, Amen. If time would serve, I would have written more 
.at large. The 2 of March, anno, 1555. 

On the 21st of March one of the Earl of 
Derby's men came to the Compter with one 
M. Collier, formerly Warden of Manchester, 
who informed Bradford that Dr. Weston,f 
would be with him in the afternoon. 

At dinner time, when M. Collier discommended King Edward, 
and went about to set forth the authority of the Pope, Bradford 
withstood him, defending the king's faith, that it was catholic, 
and that the authority of the Bishop of Rome's supremacy was 
usurped; bringing forth the testimony of Gregory, which af- 
firmeth the name of Supreme Head, to be a title of the former to 
antichrist. 

See Appendix, Note (CC.) t See Appendix, Note (DD.) 



264 



Bradford then went to his prison chamber to beg of God grace, 
and help therein ; continuing" there until he was called down to 
speak with M. Weston. 



No. 75.* 
FIRST CONFERENCE WITH DR. WESTON. 



As soon as Bradford entered the hall Dr. Weston very gently 

took him by the hand, and told him that he had often been 

minded to come to him, being thereto desired of the Earl of 

Derby. 

Weston. After that I perceived by this man, that you could be 
contented rather to speak with me, than any others; I could not but 
come to do you good, if I can; for hurt you be sure I will not. 

Brad. Sir, when I perceived by the report of my Lord's servant, 
that you did bear me good will; more as he said, than any other of 
vour sort ; I told him that, therefore I could be better content and 
more willing to talk with you, if you should come unto me. This 
did I say, otherwise I desired not your coming. 

JVeston. Well, now I am come to talk with you ; but before 
we shall enter into any talk, certain principles we must agree upon, 
which shall be this day's work. First, I shall desire you to put away 
all vain-glory, and not hold any thing for the praise of the world. 

Brad. Sir, St Augustine maketh that indeed apiece of the defi- 
nition of a heretic; which if I cannot put away clean, for I think 
there will a spice of it remain in us, as long as this flesh liveth,yet I 
promise you by the grace of God, that I purpose not to yield to it. 
God, I hope, will never suffer it to bear rule in them that strive 
there-against, and desire all the dregs of it utterly to be driven out 
of us. 

* Fox iii. 301. 



265 

Weston. I am glad to hear you say so, although indeed I think 
you do not so much esteem it as others do. Secondly, I would 
desire you, that you will put away singularity in your judgment and 
opinions. 

Brad. Sir, God forbid that I should stick to my singularity or 
private judgment, in God's religion. Hitherto I have not desired it, 
neither do, nor mind at any time to hold any other doctrine than 
is public and catholic, understanding catholic as good men do; ac- 
cording to God's word. 

Weston. Very well, this is a good day's work, I hope to do you 
good ; and therefore now, thirdly, I shall pray you to write me Capita 
of those things, whereupon you stand in the sacrament, and to send 
it to me betu-ixt this and Wednesday next ; until which time, yea, 
until I come to you again, be assured that you are without all peril 
of death. Of my fidelity, I warrant you ; therefore away with all 
dubitations, &c. 

Brad. Sir, I will write to you the grounds I lean to in this 
matter. As for death, if it come, welcome be it; this which you 
require of me, shall be no great let to me therein. 

Weston. You know that St. Augustine was a Manichean, yet 
was he converted at the length ; so have I good hope of you. 

Brad. Sir, because I will not flatter you, I would you should 
flatly know, that I am even settled in the religion, wherefore I am 
condemned. 

Weston. Yea, but if it be not the truth, and you see evident 
matter to the contrary, will you not then give place ? 

Brad. God forbid, but that I should always give place to the truth. 

Weston. I would have you to pray so. 

Brad. So I do, and that he will more and more confirm me in 
it, as I thank God he hath done and doth. 

Weston. Yea, but pray with a condition, if you be in it. 

Brad. No Sir, I cannot pray so; because 1 am settled and as- 
sured of his truth. 

Weston. Well, as the learned bishop answered St. Austin's 
mother, that though he was obstinate, yet the tears of such a mother 
could not but win her son; so I hope your prayers* cannot but be 



* Bradford's eyes here shewed that he had wept in prayer. Fox in Loro. 

2M 



266 

heard of God, though not as you would, yet as best shall please 

God. Do ye not remember the history thereof ? 
Brad. Yea, Sir, I think it be of St. Ambrose. 
Weston. No, that it is not. As you are overseen herein, so are 

you in other things.* 

Brad. Well, Sir, I will not contend you for the riame ; this I 

remember St. Augustine writeth in his confessions. 

After this Weston began to tell M. Bradford, how the people 
were by him procured to withstand the Queen. Whereupon 
Bradford bad him hang him up as a traitor and a thief, if ever he 
encouraged any to rebellion ; which thing his keeper, and others 
that were there of the priests, affirmed on his behalf. Dr. Weston 
declared that he had saved men, going in the cart to be hanged. 
The end was this, that Bradford should send unto him, CAPITA 
DOCTRINE, of the Supper ; and that after Wednesday, Weston 
would come to him again, and so departed, after he had drank to 
him in beer and wine. 

I omit here the talk concerning Oxford, of books of German 
writers, the fear of death, and other matters to no purpose. 

According to his promise Bradford wrote 
out his reasons and arguments against transub- 
stantiation, and sent them to Dr. Weston, as 
follow: 

No. 76.t 

CERTAIN REASONS AGAINST TRANSUB- 
STANTIATION, 

Gathered by John Bradford, and given to Dr. Weston and 
Others. 

First. That which is former (saith Tertullian) is true; that 
which is later is false. But the doctrine of transubstantiation is a 

* Unfortunately however for the argument of the Prolocutor, our martyr was not 
overseen, and proved himself to be better read than his opponent. Du Pin, torn. iii. 
p. 159 Dr. Adam Clarke on Rom. xiii. 14. 

t Fox iii. 303. 



267 



late doctrine, for it was not defined generally afore the Council of 
Lateran, about one thousand two hundred and fifteen years after 
Christ's coming-, under Pope Innocent III.* For before that time 
it was free for all men to believe it or not believe it, as the Bishop 
of Durham doth witness, in his book of the Presence of Christ 
in his Supper, lately put forth, ergo, the doctrine of transubstan- 
tiation is false. 

Second. That the words of Christ's Supper be figurative, the 
circumstances of the Scripture, the analogy or proportion of the 
sacraments, and the sentences of all the holy fathers, which were and 
did write for the space of one thousand years after Christ's ascension, 
do teach. Whereupon it followeth that there is no transubstantiation. 

Third. That the Lord gave to his disciples bread, and called 
it his body, the Scriptures do witness. For he gave that and called 
it his body, which he took in his hands, whereon he gave thanks, 
which also he brake, and gave to his disciples, that is to say, BREAD ; 
as the fathers Irenaeus, Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian, Epiphanius, 
Augustine, and all the residue which are of antiquity do affirm: but 
inasmuch as the substance of bread and wine is another thing than 
the substance of the body and blood of Christ, it plainly appears that 
there is no transubstantiation. 

Fourth. The bread is no more transubstantiate than the wine; 
but that the wine is not transubstantiate, Saint Matthew and Saint 
Mark do teach us ; for they witness that Christ said, That he would 
drink no more of the fruit of the vine, which was not blood but wine; 
and therefore it followeth that there is no transubstantiation. Chry- 
sostom upon Matthew, and Saint Cyprian do affirm this reason. 

Fifth. As the bread in the Lord's Supper is Christ's natural 
body, so it is his mystical body; for the same spirit that spake of it, 
This is my body, did say also, For we many are one bread, one 
body,&c.; but now it is not the mystical body by transubstantiation, 
and therefore it is not his natural body by transubstantiation. 

Sixth. The words spoken over the cup in Saint Luke and Paul, 
are not so mighty and effectual as to transubstantiate it. For then 
it, or that which is in it, should be transubstantiate into the New 

* See Gilly's second visit to the Vaudois of Piedmont, p. 41. 



268 



Testament; therefore the words spoken over the bread, are not so 
mighty as to make transubstantiation. 

Seventh. All that doctrine which agreeth with those Churches 
which be apostolic, mother Churches, or original Churches, is to be 
counted for truth ; in that it holdeth that which these Churches 
received of the apostles, the apostles of Christ;, Christ of God. But 
it is manifest that the doctrine, taught at this present of the Church 
of Rome, concerning transubstantiation, doth not agree with the 
apostolic and mother Churches in Greece, of Corinthus, of Philippos, 
Colossia, Thessalonica, Ephesus, which never taught transubstanti- 
ation; yea, it agreeth not with the doctrine of the Church of Rome, 
taught in times past. For Gelasius, the Pope, setting forth the doc- 
trine which that See did then hold ; doth manifestly confute the error 
of transubstantiation, and reproveth them of sacrilege which divide 
the mystery, and keep from the laity the cup; therefore the doctrine 
of transubstantiation agreeth not with the truth. 

About the 28th of March, Dr. Pendleton 
came to Bradford, together wjih the same M. 
Collier, and Stephen Bech. 



No. 77* 
CONFERENCE WITH DR. PENDLETON. 

Pend. (After expressing sorrow for Bradford's trouble.) After 
that I did know you could be content to talk with me, I made the 
more speed, being as ready to do you good, and pleasure you what 
I can, as ye would wish. 

Brad. Sir, the manner how I was content to speak with you, 
was on this sort. M. Bech was often .in hand with me whom he 
should bring unto me, and named you among others; and I said that 
I had rather speak with you than with any of all the others. Now 
the cause why I so would, 1 will briefly tell you. I remember that 

Fox iii. 302. 



269 



once you were, as far as a man might judge, of the religion that I 
am of at this present, and 1 remember that you have set forth the 
same earnestly. Gladly therefore would I learn of you, what thing 
it was, that moved your conscience to alter; and gladly would I see 
what thing it is that you have seen since, which you saw not before. 
Pend. M. Bradford, I do not know wherefore you are con- 
demned ? 

Brad. Tran substantiation is the cause wherefore L am con- 
demned, and because I deny that wicked men do receive Christ's 
body ; wherein I would desire you to shew me what reasons, which 
before you knew not, did move your conscience now to alter ; for 
once, as I said, you were as I am in religion. 

Pend. I never fully denied transubstantiatiori, although I said 
that the word was not in Scripture; I will gather to you the places 
which moved me, and send you them. 

Here he desired that he might have a copy of that which Brad- 
ford had sent to Dr. Weston ; and which Bradford promised to 
send him. 

Some reasoning also they had, whether evil men did receive 
Christ's body, Bradford denying, and Pendleton affirming. 
Bradford said that they received not the spirit; ergo, not the body; 
for it is no dead carcase. Hereto Bradford brought also St. 
Augustine, how Judas received panem Domini, and not panem 
Dominum ; and how that he must be in Christ's body, who must 
receive the body of Christ. But Pendleton went about to put it 
away with idem, and not ad idem, and how that in corpore Christi, 
was to be understood of all that be in the visible Church, with 
God's elect. Bradford denied this to be St. Augustine's mean- 
ing, and said also that the allegation of idem and not ad idem, 
could not make for that purpose. 

Pendleton having brought forth Cyprian ; Panis natura mu- 
tatur, etc., Bradford said, that in that place, natura, did not 
signify substance. As the nature of an herb is not the substance 
of it; so the bread changed in nature is not to be taken for 
changed in substance; for now it is ordained, not for the food 
of the body simply, but rather for the soul. Here also Bradford 
alleged the sentence of Gelasius ; whereupon Pendleton said that 



270 

he was a Pope. Yea, said Bradford, but his faith is my faith in 
the sacrament, if ye would receive it. 

They reasoned also, whether acridcntia were res or no. If 
they be properly, res, said Bradford, then are they substances; 
and if they be substances, they are earthly; and then are there 
earthly substances in the sacrament, as Irenaeus saith, which 
must needs be bread. But Pendleton said that the colour was 
the earthly thing 1 , and called it an accidental substance. 

I omit the talk they had of my Lord of Canterbury, of Peter 
Martyr's book, of Pendleton's letter,* laid to Bradford's charge 
when he was condemned ; also whether Die Ecc/esitB was spoken 
of the Universal Church, or of a particular, which Pendleton at 
length granted to be spoken of a particular Church, also of vain- 
glory, which he willed Bradford to beware of, and such like. 

A little before his departure, Bradford said thus ; M. Doctor, 
as I said to M. Weston the last day, so say I unto you again ; 
that I am the same man in religion against transubstantiation 
still, which I was when I came into prison ; for hitherto I have 
seen nothing in any point to infirm me. 

At these words, Pendleton said that it was no catholic doctrine. 
Yes, said Bradford, and that will 1 prove, even by the testimony 
of the catholic fathers, until the Council of Lateran, or there- 
abouts. Thus Pendleton went his way, saying that he would 
come oftener to Bradford. 

God, our Father, be with us all, and give us the spirit of his 
truth for ever, Amen. 

In the afternoon of the same day, Dr. Wes- 
ton came again to Bradford ; and after desiring 
they should be left alone ; pulled out of his 
bosom the same writing (No. 76.) which Brad- 
ford had sent to him. Before he hegan to read 
it he showed Bradford, that since their last 

* He was parson of St. Stephen's Walbrook, a great professor of religion in the 
reiga of Edward VI., but recanted in that of Mary. Strype EccL Mem. iii. 2. 18. 
It is more than probable that he betrayed Bradford. See pp. 180. 218. 



271 

conference, he had inquired concerning his 
manner of conversation whilst at Cambridge. 



No. 78.* 

THE SECOND CONFERENCE WITH DR, 
WESTON. 



Westou. M. Bradford, because you are a man, not given to the 
glory of the world, I will speak it before your face, your life I have 
learned was such there always, as all men, even the greatest enemies 
you have, cannot but praise it; and therefore I love you much 
better than ever I did ; but now I will read over your arguments, 
and so we will confer them. Such they are* that a man may well 
perceive you stand on conscience, and therefore I am the more ready 
and glad to pity you. As to the first; though the word transub- 
stantiation began but lately, yet the thing always was, and hath 
been since Christ's institution. 

Brad. I do not contend or hang upon the word only, but upon 
the thing, which is as new as the word. 

JVeston. As to the second, St. Augustine asserts that if an evil 
man, going to the devil, makes his will, his son and heir would not 
say his father did lie in it, or speak tropically; much more Christ, 
going to God, did never lie or use any figurative speech in his last 
will and testament. Do you not remember this place of St. 
Augustine? 

Brad. Yea, Sir, but I remember not that St. Augustine hath 
those words, tropical or figurative, as you rehearse them; for any 
man may speak a thing figuratively, and not lie ; and so Christ did 
in his last Supper. 

Weston. The passage in Cyprian shews that the nature of 

* Fox iii. 303. 



272 

bread is turned into flesh. Here my Lord of Canterbury expounded! 
nature for quality, by Gelasius. The which interpretation serveth 
for the answer of your argument, that Christ called bread his body ; 
that is, the quality, form, and appearance of bread. And further, 
the Scripture is wont to call things by the same names which they 
had before, as Simon the leper;* he was not so presently, but 
because he had been so. 

Brad. Cyprian wrote before Gelasius ; therefore Cyprian must 
not expound Gelasius, but Gelasius Cyprian; and so they both 
teach, that bread remaineth still. As for things having still the 
names they had, is no answer, except you could shew that this now 
were not bread, as easily as a man might have then known and seen 
Simon to have been healed, and clear from his leprosy. 

After this, Weston went to the fourth, concerning the cup, 
the which he did not fully read ; but digressed into a long talk 
of Cyprian's Epistle de Aquatiis; also of St. Augustine, 
expounding the breaking of bread by Christ, to his two disciples 
going to Emmaus, to be the sacrament, with such other talk to 
no certain purpose; and therefore Bradford prayed him, that 
inasmuch as he had written the reasons that stablished his faith 
against transubstantiation, so he would likewise do to him, that 
is, answer him by writing, and shew him more reasons in writing 
to confirm transubstantiation. Which Dr. Weston promised to 
do, and said that he would send or bring it to M. Bradford again, 
within three days. 

Thus when he had read over the arguments, and here and 
there spoken little to the purpose for the avoiding of them, and 
Bradford had praved him to give him in writing his answers ; 
then he began to tell Bradford how and what he had done for 
Grimoald, and how that Bradford needed not to fear any 
reproach or slander he should suffer, meaning belike to have 
Bradford secretly to come to them, as Grimoaldf did ; for he 
subscribed. 

* Simon, though he were called the leper, yet he was seen to be no leper. Bat 
bread is seen still to be bread ; and therefore hath his name not of that it was, but of 
that it is. Fox in Loco. 

t See Appendix, page xlix. 



273 

Brad. M. Dean, I would not 'gladly that you should conceive 
of me, that I pass of shame of men simply in this matter ; I rather 
would have you to think of me, as the very truth is, that hitherto as 
I have not seen, nor heard any thing 1 , to weaken* iny faith against 
transubstantiation, so I am no less settled in it, than I was at my 
first coming hither. I love to be plain with you, and to tell you at 
the first, as you shall find at the last. 

Weston. In good faith, M- Bradford, I love you the better 
for your plainness ; and do not think otherwise of me, but that you 
shall find me plain in all my talk with you. 

Here Weston began to ask Bradford of his imprisonment and 
condemnation ; and so Bradford told him altogether, how he had 
been handled. Whereat Weston seemed to wonder, yea in plain 
words he said, that Bradford had been handled otherwise than 
he had given cause, and so shewed Bradford how that my Lord 
of Bathf reported, that he had deserved a benefit at the Queen's 
hand, and that of all the Council. 

In this kind of talk they spent an hour almost, and so, as one 
weary, Bradford rose up, and Weston called to the keeper ; and 
before him he bade Bradford be of good comfort, and said that 
he was out of all peril of death. 

Keeper. Sir, but it is in every man's mouth that he shall die 
to-morrow. 

Weston. (Apparently half amazed.) I will go say evensong 
before the Queen, and speak to her in his behalf. 

But it is to be thought, that the Queen had already supped at 
that present ; for it was past six of the clock. 

Before the keeper, Bradford told Weston again, that he still 
was one man, and even as he was at the first ; and till he should 
see matter to teach his conscience the contrary, he said he must 
needs so continue. The keeper desired Bradford to hearken to 
M. Doctor's counsel, and prayed M. Doctor to be good unto 
him ; and so after they had drunk together, M. Doctor, with 
most gentle words, took his leave for three days. 

Now when he was gone, the keeper told Bradford, that 



* Infirm. t Bourne, whose life he had saved. See p. 179. 

2N 



274 

M. Doctor spake openly, how that he saw no cause, why they 
should burn him. Which sentence, for the ambiguity of the 
meaning, made him somewhat sorry, lest he had hehaved himself 
in any thing, wherein Weston had gathered any conformableness 
to them in their doctrine, which God knbweth, saith Bradford, I 
never as yet did. God, our Father, bless us, as his children, 
and keep us from all evil, for ever, Amen. 

It is worthy of admiration, how this truly 
excellent person kept himself constantly occu- 
pied in his master's service. Daily and almost 
hourly assailed by open enemies, or misguided, 
if not pretended,* friends ; harassed and teased, 
although not perplexed, by their wily argu- 
ments and crafty suggestions ; the certainty of 
a painful and lingering death constantly in his 
view ; and what was worse than death itself, the 
suspense in which his fiend-like tormentors kept 
him ; for it would seem that he never went to 
rest, but under the probable apprehension, that 
his slumbers would be broken, by the jailor 
summoning him to the stake. Yet amidst 
all this, and much more perhaps that has 
not come down to us ; we find this holy 
martyr, occupying the intermediate moments 
in writing letters in every direction, where he 
thought his advice or example might be useful. 
And so calm and collected was his mind, that 

* Matth. xxiii. 15. 



275 

no impatience, or hardly an angry or railing 
expression escapes him, throughout the whole 
correspondence. Well might his grand perse- 
cutor Gardiner say, that < Bradford had writ- 
ten letters whilst in prison, to no little hurt 
of the Queen's people. '* Amongst others writ- 
ten at this time were the following : 

No. 79.t 

An admonition to certain professors and lovers of the Gospel, 
to beware they fall not from it, in consenting to the Romish 
religion, by the example of the shrinking, halting, and 
double-faced gospellers. 

THE peace of Christ, which is the true effect of God's Gospei 
believed, my dearly beloved, be more and more plentifully perceived 
of you, through the grace of our dear Father, by the mighty working 
of the Holy Spirit, our Comforter, Amen. 

Though 1 have many lets presently, to hinder me from writing 
unto you ; yet being desired, I could not but something signify my 
ready good will in this behalf, so much as I may, when I cannot so 
much as I would. You hear and see how satan bestirreth him, 
raging as a roaring lion to devour us. You see and feel partly what 
storms he hath raised up, to drown the poor boat of Christ, I mean 
his Church. You see how terribly he traineth his soldiers to give a 
fierce onset on the vanguard* of God's battle. You see how he hath 
received power of God, to molest God's children, and to begin at his 
house. 

By reason whereof consider two things ; one, the cause on our 
behalf; the other, what will be the sequel on strangers. For the 
first, if we be not blind, we cannot but well see, that our sins are the 

* See page 165. f Fox iii. 335. Cov. 379. J Voward. 



276 



cause of all this misery ; our sins, I say, which I would that every 
one of us would apply to ourselves, after the example of Jonas and 
David; turning over the wallet, that other men's offences might lie 
behind, and our own before. 

Not that I would excuse other men, who exteriorly have walked 
much more grossly than many of you have done ; but that I would 
provoke you all as myself, to more hearty repentance and prayer. 
Let us more and more increase, to know and lament our doubting of 
God, of his presence, power, anger, mercy, &c. Let us better feel 
and hate our self-love, security, negligence, unthankfulness, unbelief, 
impatience, &c. and then doubtless the cross shall be less fearful, yea 
it shall be comfortable, and Christ most dear and pleasant. Death 
then shall be desired, as the dispatcher of us out of all misery, and 
entrance into eternal felicity and joy unspeakable; the which is so 
much the more longed for, by how much we feel indeed the serpent's 
bites, wherewith he woundeth our heels, that is, our outward Adam 
and senses. 

If we had, I say, a lively and true feeling of his poison, we could 
not but, as rejoice over our Captain that hath bruised his head, so be 
desirous to follow his example, that is, to give our lives with him 
and for him; and so to fill up his passion, that he might conquer and 
overcome in us and by us, to his glory, and comfort of his children. 

Now the second, I mean the sequel, or that which will follow, 
on the strangers, my dearly beloved ; let us well look upon. For if 
so be, that God justly do thus give to satan and his seed, to vex and 
molest Christ and his penitent people ; oh, what and how justly may 
he and will he give to satan, to entreat the reckless and impenitent 
sinners ? If judgment begin thus at God's house, what will follow 
on them that be without, if they repent not ? Certainly for them is 
reserved the dross of God's cup, that is, brimstone, fire, and tempest 
intolerable. Now are they unwilling to drink of God's cup of 
affliction, which lie offereth common with his Son Christ our Lord, 
lest they should lose their pigs, with the Girgesites. They are 
unwilling to come into the way that bringeth to heaven, even 
afflictions ; they in their hearts cry, let us cast his yoke from us|; 
they walk two ways, that is, they seek to serve God and mammon, 
which is impossible. 



277 

They -will not come nigh the strait way that bringeth to life; 
they open their eyes to behold present things only; they judge of 
religion after reason, and not after God's word; they follow the 
more part, and not the better ; they profess God with their mouths, 
but in their hearts they deny him, or else they would sanctify him, 
by serving him more than men. They part stake with God, who 
would have all, giving part to the world, to the Romish rout, and 
antichristian idolatry, now set abroad amongst us publicly. They 
will have Christ, but none of his cross, which will not be ; they will 
be counted to live godly in Christ, but yet they will suffer no 
persecution ; they love this world, wherethrough the love of God is 
driven forth of them ; they savour of those things that be of men, and 
not that be of God. Surnma, they love God in their lips, but in 
their hearts, yea and in their deeds, deny him ; as well by not 
repenting their evils past, as by continuing in evil still; by doing 
as the world, the flesh, and the devil willeth, and yet still perchance 
they vvill pray, or rather prate, Thy will be done in earth, which is 
generally, that every one should take up his cross, and follow Christ. 

But this is a hard saying, Who is able to abide it ? Therefore 
Christ must be prayed to depart, lest all their pigs be drowned. 
The devil shall have his dwelling again in themselves, rather than 
in their pigs; and therefore to the devil shall they go, and dwell 
with him in eternal perdition and damnation, even in hell fire, and 
torment endless, and above all cogitations incomprehensible, if they 
repent not. 

Wherefore, by them, my dearly beloved, be admonished to 
remember your profession, how that in baptism you made a solemn 
vow to renounce the devil, the world, &c. You promised to fight 
under Christ's standard. You learned Christ's cross, afore you 
began with A. B. C. Go to then, pay your vow to the Lord ; fight 
like men and valiant men under Christ's standard; take up your 
cross and follow your Master, as your brethren, M. Hooper, Rogers, 
Taylor, and Saunders have done; and as now your brethren, 
M. Cranmer, Latimer, Ridley, Farrar, Bradford, Hawkes, &c. be 
ready to do. 

The ice is broken before you, therefore be not afraid, but be 
content to die for the Lord. You have no cause to waver or doubt 



278 



of the doctrine, thus declared by the blood of the pastors. Remember 
that Christ saith, He that will save his life shall lose it. And what 
should it profit you to win the whole world, much less a little 
quietness, &c., your goods, &<X, and to lose your own souls? Render 
to the Lord that he hath lent you, by such means as he would have 
you render it, and not as you would. Forget not, Christ's disciples 
must deny themselves, as well concerning their will, as concerning 
their wisdom. Have in mind, that as it is no small mercy to 
believe in the Lord, so it is no small kindness of God towards you, 
to suffer any thing, much more death, for the Lord. If they be 
blessed that die in the Lord, how shall they be that die for the 
Lord. 

Oh, what a blessing is it to have death due for our sins, diverted 
into a demonstration and testification of the Lord's truth. Oh, that 
we had a little of Moses' faith, to look upon the end of the cross, to 
look upon the reward, to see continually with Christ and his people, 
greater riches than the riches of Egypt. Oh, let us pray that God 
would open our eyes to see his hidden manna, the heavenly Jerusa- 
lem, the congregation of the first-born, the melody of the saints, the 
tabernacle of God dwelling with men; then should we run and 
become violent men, and so take the kingdom of heaven, as it were, 
by force. God, our Father, give us for his Christ's sake, to see 
a little what and how great joy he hath prepared for us, he hath 
called us unto, and most assuredly giveth us, for his own goodness 
and truth's sake, Amen. 

My dearly beloved, repent, be sober, and watch in prayer ; be 
obedient, and, after your vocations, shew your obedience to the 
higher powers, in all things that are not against God's word, 
therein acknowledge the sovereign power of the Lord ; howbeit so 
that ye be no rebels, or rebellers, for no cause ; but because with 
good conscience you cannot obey, be patient sufferers, and the 
glory and good spirit of God shall dwell upon us. I pray you 
remember us, your afflicted brethren, being in the Lord's bonds 
for the testimony of Christ, and abiding the gracious hour of our 
dear and most merciful father. The Lord for Christ's sake, give us 
merry hearts, to drink lustily of his sweet cup, which daily we groan 
and sigh for, lamenting that the time is thus prolonged. The Lord 



279 

Jesus give us grace to be thankful, and to abide patiently the pro- 
vident hour of his most gracious good will, Amen, Amen. 
From the compter in the Poultry, 

Your's in Christ, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 80.* 
TO HIS GOOD BROTHER, R. COLE. 

MINB own good brother, our good and most merciful Father, 
more and more embrace us, in the arms of his mercy, as his loving 
and own natural children; and give us, one to embrace another, in 
the arms of love as true brethren ; that with one heart and mind, we 
may praise his holy name, in Christ our Saviour ; and through the 
grace of his spirit, may mightily, every one, fight against sin, and 
all that is against the kingdom of Christ. Whereto, my beloved, we 
are called effectually to our everlasting felicity, 1 doubt not, praised 
be the name of our good God therefore, for ever and ever, Amen. 

Mine own heart in the Lord, desire our brethren, that every one 
would bend himself to bow; let us never break. Love stuTereth long, 
and seeketh not herself. We have all one father, we are all brethren, 
God keep us from dissention. If we cannot agree in all points, 
either the points perchance be not so necessary, or else by love we 
shaL hereafter be brought to see that which yet is hid. If love may 
appear in all our doings, and that we seek one another with a simple 
and a single eye in God's sight, doubtless all prejudice whereby we 
are letted to see manifest things, will be had away, and we shall take 
things spoken and done in the best part; and so doubtless the name 
of our father shall be sanctified in us and by us, as by instruments of 
grace, and God's kingdom shall increase apace in us and by us also, 
which thing may he grant, for his mercy's sake, Amen. 

* Cov.4ll. 



280 

Commend me heartily, I pray you, to both those good women. 
Good I call them, because I am persuaded that God will deliver them, 
especially my good Mary. I will not cease, but even as for myself, 
to pray to God for them, and for you, my right dear brother in the 
Lord. If you were acquainted with M. Robert Harrington, you 
should find a plain Nathaniel, you should see the worst at the first; 
I dare say for him, his only desire is to please God, and he is afraid 
to offend. Pray for him, and for my good sister J. H. as I know she 
doth for you. The peace of God be with you mine own in the Lord. 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 81.* 

To a Faithful Friend of his, whom for his godly simplicity and 
singleness of heart in the ways of the Lord, he called 
Nathaniel;^ and to his Wife. 



THE merciful God, and Father of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who 
loveth us as a most dear father, and hath put upon him towards us, 
the affections of a most tender mother towards her children ; so that 
he can no less think upon us, although of ourselves we are most un- 
worthy, and deserve nothing less, than she can think on her only 
begotten child in his distress ; yea, if she should forget her child, 
as some unnatural mothers will do, yet will he never forget us, 
although for a time he seem to sleep, that we might be occa- 
sioned to call loud and awake him. This good God keep you, 
my dear brother Nathaniel, | and your good yoke-fellow, my 
heartily beloved sister in the Lord, in all things now and for ever, 
to his glory and your eternal comfort ; and also of his goodness 

* Fox iii. 346. Cov. 414. t M. Robert Harrington, see the last letter. 

J Note that Nathaniel was not his proper name, but he was so called from his 
unfeigned simplicity and truth. Fox. 



lie grant you both the feeling of that hope, which undoubtedly he 
hath laid up in store for you both, far passing the store and provision, 
not only which you have made, but all the world is able to make, as 
I trust already he hath wrought it in you; but I beseech him to 
encrease it more and more, and kindle in you a hearty longing for 
the enjoying of the same. The which once felt and had indeed, 
then the means by the which we come thereto, cannot be so greatly 
dreaded, as most men do dread them ; because either they want this 
feeling, I mean it, of altogether, or else because the sense of this 
present time and things therein, are as a mist to the hiding of those 
things from our sight, lest we should run and embrace them by 
hearty prayer; the spirit whereof God grant us, and indeed we 
should attain enough in this behalf, if we continued therein. 

As for auricular confession, wherein you desire my advice for 
your good yoke-fellow and family, my most dear brother, I am as 
ready to give it as you to desire it ; yea more glad, forasmuch as half 
a suspicion was in me, at the least touching my dear sister your 
wife, of a loathing of my advice, that too much had been given ; 
where indeed I should lament my too little feeding you spiritually, 
as both you out of prison, and in prison, have fed me corporally. 
But as 1 always thought of her, so I yet think, that she is the child 
of God, whom God dearly loveth, and will in his good time, to her 
eternal comfort, give her her heart's desire in sure feeling, and 
sensible believing of this, which I would she had often in her 
mind ; namely, that he is her God and Father, through Christ Jesus, 
our dear Lord and Saviour. 

A greater service to God, she cannot give than to believe this. 
If satan say she believeth not, to answer, not him but the Lord, and 
to say, Yea, Lord, help my unbelief, and increase my poor faith, 
which satan saith is no faith ; make him a liar, Lord, as always he 
hath been, is, and shall be. Undoubtedly, sooner or later, God will 
graciously hear her groans, and keep all her tears in his bottle, yea 
write them in his counting books ; for he is a righteous God, and 
hath no pleasure in the death of his creature. He loveth mercy, he 
will return and shew her his mercy ; he will cast all her sins and 
iniquities unto the bottom of the sea ; and the longer that he tarrieth, 

2o 



282 

as lie doth it but *o prove her, so the more liberally will he 
recompense her long looking 1 , which no less pleased him, than it 
grieveth now her outward Adam. For the mortification whereof, 
God useth this cross, and therefore if she desire to bear the same, 
doubtless God will make her able to bear it; and in presumption of 
his goodness and strength, let her cast herself wholly upon him; for 
he is faithful, and will assuredly confirm and bring to a happy end, 
that good which graciously he hath begun in her. The which thing 
I desire him to do for his own glory, and name's sake, Amen, Amen. 

And now to the matter, confession auricular, as it was first used 
and instituted, which was by the way of a counsel-asking; I take to 
be amongst those traditions which are indifferent, that is, neither 
unlawful, nor necessarily binding us, except the offence of the weak 
could not be avoided. But to consider it, as it is now used, I write 
to you but as I think, and what my mind is; the which follow no 
further than good men, by God's word, do allow it; to consider it, I 
say, as it is now used, methinks it is plainly unlawful and wicked, 
and that for these causes. 

First, because they make it a service of God, arid a thing which 
pleaseth God of itself, I will not say meritorious. This bringer my 
brother, can tell you at large, how great an evil this is. 

Secondly, because they make it of necessity, so that he or she 
that useth it not, is not taken for a good Christian. 

Tliirdly, because it requireth of itself an impossibility, that is, 
the numbering and telling of all our sins, which no man perceiveth, 
much less can utter. 

Fourthly, because it establisheth and confirmeth, at the least 
alloweth, praying to saints ; prccor sanctam Mariam, you must say, 
or the priest for you. 

Fifthly, because it is very injurious to the liberty of the Gospel, 
the which to affirm in example and fact, I take to be a good work, 
and dear in God's sight. 

Sixthly, because, as it is used, it is a note, yea, a very sinew of 
the Popish Church ; and therefore we should be so far from allowing 
the same, that we should think ourselves happy to lose any thing, in 
bearing witness thereagainst. 



283 



Seventhly, because instead of counsel, thereat you should receive 
poison, or if you refuse it under Sir John's benedicite, you should 
no less there be wound in the briars. 

Eighthly, because the end and purpose why we go thither, is for 
the avoiding of the cross, that is, for our own cause ; and not for 
Christ's cause, or for our brethren's commodity. 

For in that they make it so necessary a thing, and a worshipping 
of God, it cannot but be against Christ, and the freedom of his 
Gospel; and the same thing teacheth us, that it is against the 
commodity of our brethren, which either be weak, either be strong, 
either be ignorant, either be obstinate. If they be weak, by your 
resorting to it, they be made more weak ; if they be strong, you do 
what you can to weaken their strength ; if they be ignorant, therein 
you help to keep them by your fact; if they be obstinate, your 
resorting to it, cannot but rock them asleep in their obstinate error, 
of the necessity of this rite and ceremony. 

These causes recited do shew you what I think in this ; but 
my thinking must no further bind you than a man's thought should 
do, except the same be grounded upon God's word, which bindeth 
indeed, as I think they do. I doubt not but you, weighing these 
causes, and especially two of the first and the last ; if you pray to God 
for his spirit to direct you, and thereto ask the advice of this my 
good brother, and other godly learned men ; I doubt not, I say, but 
you should be guided fo do that which is best in God's sight ; 
although in the sight of the world, perhaps, you should be counted 
foolish and precise. 

But be at a point with yourselves, as the disciples of Christ, who 
had forsaken themselves, to follow not your will, but God's will, as 
you daily pray in the Lord's Prayer. The cross of Christ be willing 
to carry, lest you carry the cross of the world, the flesh, or the 
devil. One of these four crosses you must carry, three of them 
bring to hell, and therefore the more part goeth that way, which is 
the broad way. Only the fourth bringeth to heaven, but few go that 
way, as well because the way is strait, as also because few walk in 
it. Howbeit, though it be strait, it is but short, and the few are 
many, if you consider the godly, as the patriarchs, prophets, 
apostles, martyrs, confessors, and Christ Jesus, with all his guard 



284: 



and train. Think not scorn to come after them, who are gone 
before you; and after them who now go before you; in whose 
number, I trust, I am appointed to be one, and I beseech you pray 
for me, that God would vouch me worthy that honour. 

Our sins deserve plagues, prison, and the loss of all that ever we 
have; therefore if God remove our sins out of sight, and send us 
prison, or loss of goods and living, for his name's sake, oh, how 
happy are -we ! My dear hearts in the Lord, consider this gear, and 
be assured that he who loseth any thing for Christ's sake, the same 
in his posterity shall find it here, and in heaven elsewhere. 

As for unableness to answer for your faith ; it shall be enough 
to desire them to dispute -with your teachers. Faith standeth not in 
disputing: I think few, if it came to disputing, could defend the 
Godhead of Christ, and many other articles ; I speak it for the 
simple sort. Pray for me. Lack of paper maketh this end. 
Commend me to my good brother, Richard Bleacher, and my good 
sister, his wife ; I pray them to pray for me. I trust by this bearer 
to hear how you do. 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 82.* 



ANOTHER LETTER TO N. AND HIS WIFE. 



GOD'S mercy in Christ I wish you to feel, my dear brother, 
with my faithful sister your wife, now and for ever, Amen. 

Having this occasion, I could not but write something, as well 
to put myself in remembrance of my duty to God wards for you both, 
in thankfulness and prayer, as to put you in remembrance of me 
and your duty towards God for me, in praying for me ; for I dare 

* Fox iii. 347. 



285 

not say in thankfulness for me. Not that I would have you to give 
no thanks to God, for his wonderful great and sweet mercies towards 
me, and upon me in Christ his Son; but because I have not deserved 
it, at either of your hands. For ye both know right well, at least 
my conscience doth accuse me, how that I have not only not ex- 
horted and taught you, as both my vocation and your deserts re- 
quired to walk worthy of that vocation which God hath made you 
worthy of, and with trembling and fear to work out your salvation ; 
that is in the fear of God to give yourselves to great vigilance in 
prayer, for the increase of faith, and to a wary circumspection in all 
your conversation, not only in works and words, but also in thoughts ; 
because God is a searcher of the heart, and out of the heart that 
cometh which defileth us in God's sight; I have, 1 say, not only 
not done this, but also have given you example of negligence in 
prayer, watching, fasting, talking and doing; so that woe to me for 
giving such offence. 

Partly for this cause, dear brother and sister, God hath cast me 
here that I might repent me and turn to him ; and that ye might 
also by his correction upon me, be more diligent to redress these 
things and others, if they in your conscience do accuse you. 

My dearly beloved, heavy is God's anger fallen upon us all ; 
doleful is this day. Now hath antichrist all his power again. Now 
is Christ's gospel trodden under foot. Now is God's people a derision 
and prey for the wicked. Now is the greatest plague of all plagues 
fallen; the want of God's word; and all these we have, yea, I alone 
have, justly deserved. Oh that as I write, I alone, I could with 
David, 1 Chron. xxi. and with Jonah, in heart say so. But I do 
not, I do not, I see not how grievously I have sinned, and how great 
a misery is fallen, for mine unthaukfulness for God's word, for mine 
hypocrisy in professing, preaching, hearing, and speaking of God's 
word; for my not praying to God for the continuance of it, for my 
not loving of it thoroughly, as it requireth, &c. I will speak nothing 
of my manifest evils, for they are known to you well enough. 

Dear brother and sister ; with me say ye the like for your own 
parts, and with me join your hearts, and let us go to our heavenly 
Father, and for his Christ's sake beseech him to be merciful unto 
us, and to pardon us. Oh, good Father, it is we that have deserved 



286 

these thy just plagues fallen upon us, we have done amis!-!, we have 
dealt unjustly with thy gospel, we have procured thy wrath, and 
therefore just art thou in punishing 1 us, just art thou in plaguing us, 
for we are very miserable. But good Lord, and dear Father of 
mercy, whose justice is such that thou wilt not punish the poor souls 
of this realm, who yet have not thus sinned against thee, as we have 
done, for many never yet heard thy word, for our trepasses ; and 
whose mercy is so great, that thou wilt put our iniquities out of thy 
remembrance for thy Christ's sake, if we repent and believe; grant 
us, we beseech thee, true repentance, and faith, that we having ob- 
tained pardon for our sins, may, through thy Christ, get deliverance 
from the tyranny of antichrist, now oppressing us. 

Oh, good Father, who hast said, that the sceptre of the wicked 
should not long lie upon and over the just ; lest they put forth their 
hands to iniquity also; make us just, we pray thee in Christ's name, 
and cut asunder the cords of them that hate Sion ; let not the wicked 
people say, Where is their God ? Thou, our God, art in heaven; and 
doest whatsoever it pleaseth thee upon earth. 

Oh, that thou wouldest, in the mean whiles, before thou do 
deliver us; that, I say, thou wouldest open our eyes to see all these 
plagues to come from thee, and all other that shall come, whatso- 
ever they be, public or private, that they come not by chance nor by 
fortune, but that they come even from thy hand, and that justly and 
necessarily. Justly, because we have and do deserve them; not only 
by our birth poison, still sticking and working in us; but also by 
our former evil life past, which by this punishment and all other 
punishments, thou wouldest have us to call to our remembrance, and 
to set before us, that thou mightest put them from before thee; 
whereas they stand, so long as they are not in our remembrance, to 
put them away by repentance. 

Mercifully, O Lord God, dost thou punish, in that thou dost 
not correct to kill, but to amend; that we might repent our sins, ask 
mercy, obtain it freely in Christ, and begin to suffer for righteousness 
sake; to be part of thy house, whereat thy judgment beginneth ; to be 
partakers of the afflictions of thy Church, and thy Christ, that we 
might be partakers of the glory of the same; to weep here, that we 
might rejoice elsewhere ; to be judged in this world, that we might 



287 

with thy saints judge hereafter the world ; to suffer with Christ, that wo 
might reign with him; to be like to Christ in shame, that we might 
be like to him in glory; to receive our evils here, that we might, 
with poor Lazarus, find rest elsewhere; rest, I say, and such a rest 
as the eye hath not seen, the ear hath not heard, nor the heart of 
man is able to conceive. 

Oh, that our eyes were open to see this, that the cross cometh 
from thee to declare thy justice, and thy mercy; and hereto, that we 
might see how short a time the time of suffering is; how long a time 
the time of rejoicing is, to them that suffer here; but to them that 
will not, how long and miserable a time is appointed and prepared; 
a time without time, in eternal woe and perdition, too horrible to be 
thought upon. 

From the which, keep us dear Father, and give more sight in 
soul to see this gear, and how that all thy dearest children have 
carried the cross of grievous affliction in this life; in whose company 
do thou place us, and such a cross lay upon us, as thou wilt make 
us able to bear, to thy glory and our salvation in Christ; for whose 
sake, we pray thee to shorten the days of this our great misery, fallen 
upon us most justly, and in the mean season, give us patience, 
repentance, faith, and thy eternal consolation, Amen, Amen, 
Amen, 

And thus, dear hearts, I have talked, rnethinks, a little while with 
you, or rather, we have all talked with God. Oh, that God would give 
us his spirit of grace and prayer. My dearly beloved, pray for it, as 
for yourselves, so for me; and that God would vouchsafe, to make 
me worthy to suffer with a good conscience for his name's sake. 
Pray for me, and I shall do the like for you. This 20 of December, 
by him whom by this bringer, ye shall learn. I pray you give my 
commendations, to all that love me in the Lord. Be merry in Christ, 
for one day in heaven, we shall meet and rejoice together for ever- 
more, Amen. 



288 
No. 83.* 

TO M. JOHN HALL, AND HIS WIFE, 

Prisoners in Newgate, for the testimony of the Gospel. 

^ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, he 
with you both, my dearly beloved, as with his dear children for ever: 
and may he so bless you with his holy spirit, that you may in this 
your cross, for his cause doubtless, rejoice, and gladly take it up to 
bear it so long as he shall think good. 

I have heard, my good brother and sister, how that God hath 
brought you both into his school-house, whereas you were both 
purposed, by his leave, to have played the truant,f that thereby you 
might see his carefulness and love towards you. For if it be a token 
of a loving and careful father for his children, to prevent the purpose 
and disappoint the intent of his children, purposing to depart 
awhile from the school, for fear of beating; which thing they would 
not do, if they did as much consider the commodity of learning, 
which there they might get ; how should you take this work of the 
Lord, preventing your purpose, but as an evident sign of love and 
fatherly carefulness, that he beareth towards you? 

If he should have winked at your wills, then would you have 
escaped beating, I mean the cross ; but then should you have lost 
the commodity of learning, which your father will now have you to 
bear and feel, and therefore hath he sent to you his cross. HE, I 
say, hath brought you where you be ; and though your reason and 
wit will tell you, it is by chance or fortune, or otherwise ; yet, my 
dearly beloved, know for certain, that whatsoever was the mean, 
God your Father was the worker hereof, and that for your welfare, 
although otherwise your old Adam doth tell you, and you feel ; yet, 
I say, of truth, that your duty is, to think of this cross, that as it is 
of God's sending, and cometh from him ; so although your deserts 
be otherwise, it is of love and fatherly affection for your weal, and 
commodity's sake. 

* Fox iii. 336. Cov. 374. t Trewands. 



289 

What commodity is hereby, you will perchance object? You 
are now kept in close prison, you will say ; your family and children 
be without good overseers ; your substance diminisheth by those 
means; poverty will approach, and perchance more perils also, as 
loss of life, &c. These are no commodities, but discommodities, 
and that no small ones ; so that justly you would be glad to know 
what commodity can come to you by this cross, whereby cometh so 
great discommodities. 

To these things I answer, that indeed it is true you say of 
your bodies, families, children, substance, poverty, life, &c. ; which 
things, if you would consider awhile with inward eyes, as you 
behold them with outward, then perhaps you should find more ease. 
Do not you now, by the inward sense, perceive that you must part 
from all these, and all other commodities in the world ? Tell me 
then, Have not you this commodity by your cross, to learn to loath 
and leave the world, and to long for and desire another world, 
where is perpetuity 1 

You ought of your own head, and free will, to have, according 
to your profession in baptism, forsaken the world and all earthly 
things; using the world as though you used it not, your heart only 
set upon your hoard in heaven, or else you could never be Christ's 
true disciples, that is, be saved and be where he is. And trow you, 
my good hearts in the Lord, trow you, I say, that it is no commodity, 
by this cross to be compelled hereto, that you might assuredly enjoy 
with the Lord, endless glory? How now doth God, as it were, 
fatherly pull you by the ears, to remember your former offences 
concerning these things, and all other things, that repentance and 
remission might ensue? How doth God now compel you to call 
upon him, and to be earnest in prayer? Are these no commodities? 
Doth not the Scripture say, that God doth correct ns in the world, 
because we shall not be damned with the world? That God 
chasteneth every one whom he loveth ? That the end of this 
correction shall be joy and holiness? Doth not the Scripture say, 
that they are happy that suffer for righteousness' sake, as you now 
do? That the glory and spirit of God is upon them ? That as you 
are now made like unto Christ in suffering, so you shall be made 
like to him in reigning? Doth not the Scripture say that you are 

2p 



290 



now going the high and right way to heaven ? That your suffering- 
is Christ's suffering ? My dearly beloved, what greater commodities 
than these can a godly heart desire ? 

Therefore ye are commanded to rejoice and be glad when ye 
suffer, as now ye do ; for through the goodness of God, great shall 
be your reward. Where ? Forsooth on earth, first for your 
children ; for now they are in God's mere and immediate protection. 
Never was father so careful for his children, as God is for yours 
presently. God's blessing, which is more worth than all the world, 
you leave indeed to your children. Though all your providence for 
them should be pulled away, yet God is not poor; he hath promised 
to provide for them most fatherly. Cast thy burthen upon me, saith 
he, and I will bear it. Do you therefore cast them and commend 
them unto God your Father, and doubt not that he will die in your 
debt. He never yet was found unfaithful, and he will not now begin 
with you. The good man's seed shall not go a begging his bread ; 
for he will shew mercy upon thousands, of the posterity of them 
that fear him. 

Therefore, as I said, God's reward first upon earth shall be felt 
by your children, even corporally, and so also upon you, if God see 
it more for your commodity ; at the least inwardly you shall feel it 
by quietness and comfort of conscience ; and secondly after this life, 
you shall find it so plentifully, as the eye hath not seen, the ear 
hath not heard, the heart cannot conceive, how great and glorious 
God's reward will be, upon your bodies, much more upon your 
souls. 

God open our eyes to see and feel this indeed ; then shall we think 
the cross, which is a mean hereto, to be commodious. Then shall we 
thank God that he would chastise us. Then shall we say with David, 
Happy am I that thou hast punished me, for before I went astray, 
but now 1 keep thy laws. This that we may do indeed, my dearly 
beloved, let us first know that our cross cometh from God. Secondly, 
that it cometh from God as a Father, that is, to our weal and g-ood. 
Therefore let us, thirdly, call to mind our sins, and ask pardon. 
Whereto let us, fourthly, look for help certainly at God's hand in 
his good time ; help, I say, such as shall make most to God's glory, 
and to the comfort and commodity of our souls and bodies eternally. 



291 



This, if we certainly conceive, then will there issue out of us hearty 
thanksgiving 1 , which God requireth as a most precious sacrifice. 
That we may all, through Christ, offer this, let us use earnest prayer 
to our God and dear Father, who hless us, keep us, and comfort us, 
under his sweet cross for ever, Amen, Amen.* 

My dear hearts, if I could any way comfort you, you should he 
sure thereof, though my life lay thereon, but now I must do as I 
may, because I cannot as 1 would. Oh, that it would please our 
dear Father, shortly to bring us where we should never depart; but 
enjoy continually the blessed fruition of his heavenly presence ; 
pray, pray, that it may speedily come to pass, pray. To-morrow 1 
will send unto you to know your estate, send me word what are the 
chiefest things they charge you withal. From the Compter. 

By your brother in the Lord, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. S4.t 



TO MRS. HALL, 

Prisoner in Newgate, and ready to make answer before her 
adversaries. 



OUR most merciful God and Father, through Christ Jesus, our 
Lord and Saviour, be merciful untd us, and make perfect the good 
he hath begun in us unto the end, Amen. 

My dear sister, rejoice in the Lord, rejoice, be glad, I say, be 
merry and thankful ; not only because Christ so commandeth us, 
but also because our state, wherein we are presently, requireth no 
less, for we are the Lord's witnesses. God the Father hath vouch- 
safed to choose us, amongst many, to witness and testify, that Christ 
his Son is King, and that his word is true. 

* See an admirable sermon on this subject, from Deut. xxxii. 10. 11. 12. by the 

Rev. Chs. Bradley, of Glasbury, vol. i. 196. 

t Fox iii. 337. COT. 37T. 



292 

Christ, our Saviour, for bis love's sake towards us, will have us 
to bear record, that he is no usurper, nor deceiver of the people, but 
Gud's ambassador, prophet, and Messiah ; so that of all dignities 
upon earth, this is the highest. Greater honour had not his prophets, 
apostles, nor dearest friends ; than to bear witness with Christ, as 
we now do. The world following the counsel of their sire, satan, 
would gladly condemn Christ, and his verity ; but lo, the Lord hath 
chosen us to be his champions to let this. 

As stout soldiers therefore, let us stand to our Master, who is 
with us, and standeth on our right hand, that we shall not be much 
moved, if we hope and hang on his -mercy ; he is so faithful and 
true, that he will never tempt us, further than he will make usable to 
bear. Therefore, be not careful, for i hear say this day you shall be 
called forth, what you shall answer. The Lord, who is true, and 
cannot lie, hath promised, and will never fail, nor forget it; that you 
shall have both what and how to answer, so as shall make his 
shameless adversaries ashamed. Hang therefore on this promise of 
God, who is a helper at a pinch, and a most present remedy to them 
that hope in him. Never was it heard of, nor shall be, that any 
hoping in the Lord, was put to foil. 

Therefore as I said, I say again, dear sister, be not only not 
careful for your answering, but also be joyful for your cause. Confess 
Christ and be not ashamed, and he will confess you, and never be 
ashamed of you. Though loss of goods and life be like here to 
ensue; yet if Christ be true, as he is most true, it is otherwise 
in deed ; for lie that loseth his life, saith he, winneth it ; but he that 
saveth it, loseth it. Our sins have deserved many deaths. Now if 
God deal so with us, that he will make our deserved death a 
demonstration of his grace, a testimonial of his verity, a confirmation 
of his people, and an overthrow of his adversaries ; what great cause 
have we to be thankful ? 

Be thankful, therefore, good sister, be thankful, rejoice and be 
merry in the Lord; be stout in his cause and quarrel; be not faint 
hearted, but run out your race, and set your Captain Christ before 
your eyes. Behold, how great your reward is ; see the great glory, 
and the eternity of felicity, prepared for you. Strive, and fight 
lawfully, that you may get the crown. Run to get the race, you are 



293 



almost at your journey's end. I doubt not, but our Father will with 
us, send to you also, as he did to Elijah, a fiery chariot, to convey 
us into his kingdom. Let us therefore not be dismayed to leave our 
cloak behind us, that is, our bodies to ashes. God will one day 
restore them to us, like to the body of our Lord and Saviour Jesus 
Christ, whose coming is now at hand. Let us look for it, and lift 
up our heads, for our redemption draweth nigh, Amen, Amen. The 
Lord of mercy grant us his mercy, Amen. 

I pray you, pray for me, and so desire my brethren, who be with 
you. God's peace be with us all, Amen. Blessed be the dead that 
die in the Lord ; then how much more they who die for the Lord. 
Your brother in bonds, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 85.* 
THIRD CONFERENCE WITH DR. WESTON. 



ON the 5th of April, Dr. Weston came to the Compter again, 
and excused himself for his long absence, partly through 
sickness, partly because Dr. Pendleton had told him that he 
would come unto him ; and partly because he had withstood 
certain monks, who would have come again into Westminster. 
He also informed him that the Pope was dead, and declared to 
him, how he had spoken to the Queen in his behalf, and that 
death was not near to him. Last of all he excused himself for 
not answering his arguments against transubstantiation, alleging 
that his visit was more by fortune, than of purpose. 
Brad. I would gladly, M. Doctor, if it please you, see your 
answers to my arguments. 

* Fox iii. 304. 



294 



Weston. Why ? You have remembered something that I spake 
to you, when I was last with you ? 

Brad. No, Sir, I never called them in manner to mind, since 
that time; as well because I hoped you would have written them; 
as also for that they seemed not to be so material. 

West on. In good faith, I cannot see any other or better way 
for you, than to submit yourself to the judgment of the Church. 

Brad. Marry, so will 1, Sir, if so be by the Church, you under- 
stand Christ's Church. 

Weston. Lo, you take upon you to judge the Church. 

Brad. No, Sir, that do I not; in taking upon me to discern I 
do not judge the Church. 

Weston* Yes, that you do, and make it invisible. 

Brad. I do neither. 

Weston. Why, who can see your Church ? 

Brad. Those, Sir, who have spiritual eyes, wherewith they 
might have discerned Christ's visible conversation, here upon 
earth. 

Weston. Nay, Christ's Church hath three tokens, that all men 
may look well upon ; viz. unity, antiquity, and consent. 

Brad. These three may be as well in evil as in good, as well in 
sin as in virtue, as well in the devil's church as in God's Church. 
As for example, idolatry among the Israelites had all those three. 
Chrysostom telleth plainly, as you well know, that the Church is well 
known, only by the Scriptures. 

Weston. In good faith, you make your Church invisible, when 
you will have it known only by the Scriptures. 

Brad. No, Sir, the Scriptures do plainly set forth to us the 
Church, that all men may well enough thereby know her, if they list 
to look. 

Weston. The Church is like a tower or town upon a bill, that 
all men may see. 

Brad. True, Sir, all men that be not blind. Visible enough is 
the Church, but men's blindness is great. Impute not therefore to 
the Church, that which is to be imputed to blindness. 

Weston. Where was your Church forty years ago? or, Where 
i* it now, except in a corner of Germany? 



295 



Brad. Forsooth, Sir, the Church of Christ is dispersed, and not 
tied to this or that place, but to the Word of God; so that where it 
is, there is God's Church if it be truly taught. 

Weston. Lo, is not this to make the Church invisible? Point 
me out a realm a hundred years past, which maintained your doc- 
trine. 

Brad. Sir, if you will, or would, well mark the state of the 
Church before Christ's coming 1 , with it now, as St. Paul and St. 
Peter willeth us; I think you would not look for such shews of the 
Church to be made, as to point it out by realms. You know that in, 
Elijah's time, both in Israel and elsewhere, God's Church was not 
pointable ;* and therefore cried he out that he was left alone. 

Weston. No, marry, did not God say that there were seven 
thousand, who had not bowed their knees to Baal? Lo then seven 
thousand ! Shew me seven thousand, a hundred years ago, of your 
religion. 

Brad. Sir, these seven thousand were not known to men; for 
then Elijah would not have said, that he had been left alone. And 
it is plain enough by that which the text hath, namely that God 
saith, I have reserved to me seven thousand. Mark that it saith, God 
hath reserved to himself, to his own knowledge, as I doubt not but a 
hundred years ago, God had his seven thousand in his proper places, 
though men knew not thereof. 

Weston. Well, M. Bradford, I will not make your cause worse, 
than for transubstantiation ; although 1 know that we agree not in 
other matters. And I pray you make you it yourself not worse. If 
I can do you good, I will ; hurt you I will not. I am no prince, 
and therefore I cannot promise you life, except you will submit 
yourself to the definition of the Church. 

Brad. Sir, so that you will define me your Church, that under 
it you bring not in a false Church, you shall not see but that we shall 
soon be at a point. 

Weston. In good faith, M. Bradford, I see no good will be 
done ; and therefore I will wish you as much good as I can, and here- 
after I will perchance come or send to you again. 

See Appendix, Note (EE). 



296 

And so he sent for M. Weale and departed. Now after his 
departing came the keeper, M. Claydon, and Stephen Bech, and 
were very hot with Bradford, and spake unto him in such sort, 
that he should not look but to have them utter enemies unto him, 
notwithstanding the friendship they both had hitherto pretended. 
God be with us, and what matter is it who be against us? 



No. 86.* 

CONFERENCE WITH A GENTLEWOMAN'S 
SERVANT. 

AMONG divers who came to M. Bradford in prison, some to dis- 
pute and confer, some to give counsel, some to take comfort, and 
some to visit him; there was a certain gentlewoman's servant, 
whose mistress had been cruelly afflicted, and miserably handled, 
by her father and mother, and all her kindred, in her father's 
house, for not coming to the mass; and like at length to have 
been pursued to death, had not the Lord delivered her out of her 
father's house, being put from all that ever she had. 

This Gentlewoman's servant therefore, being sent to M. Brad- 
ford with commendations, had this talk with him, which I 
thought here not to overslip. 
Serv. God be thanked for you, how do you? 
Brad. Well, I thank God ; for as men in sailing, who be near 

to the shore or haven, where they would be, would be nearer; even 

so the nearer I am to God, the nearer 1 would be. 

Serv. Sir, I have never seen you so strong and healthsome of 

body, as raethink you be now, God be thanked for it. 

Brad. Why, I have given over all care and study, and only do 

I covet to be talking with him, whom I have always studied to be 

withal. 

Fox iii. 305. 



291 



Serv. Well, God hath done much for you since the time that I 
first knew you; and hath wrought wondrously in you to his glory. 

Brad. Truth it is, for he hath dealt favourably with me, in that 
he hath not punished me according to my sins, but hath suffered me 
to live, that I might seek repentance. 

Serv. Truly, we hear say, there is a rod made so grievous, out 
of the which I think no man shall pluck his head. 

Brad. Well, let all that be of Christ's flock, arm themselves to 
suffer; for I think verily, God will not have one of his to escape 
untouched, if he love him, let them seek what means or ways they 
can. 

Serv. Well, Sir, there goeth a talk of a friar* that should 
preach before the King, and should tell him, that he should be 
guilty of the innocent blood that hath been shed of late. 

Brad. Verily, I had a book, within these two days, of his 
writing, wherein he saith, that it is not meet nor convenient that 
the heretics should live ; and therefore I do marvel how that talk 
should arise ; for I have heard of it also, and I have also talked 
with this friar, he is named Friar Fonse, and with divers others, and 
I praise God, they have confirmed me ; for they have nothing to say 
but that which is most vain. 

Serv. Sir, Father Cardmaker hath him commended unto you. 

Brad. How doth he ? 

Serv. > Well, God be thanked. 

Brad. I am very glad thereof; for indeed my Lord Chancellor 
did cast him in my teeth ;f but as David saith, God hath disappointed 
him. 

Serv. Forsooth, God's name be praised, he is very strong. 

Brad. And, I trust, so are we. What else ? Our quarrel is 
most j nst; therefore let us not be afraid. 

Serv. My mistress hath her recommended unto you. 

Brad. How doth she ? 

Serv. Well, God be praised, but she hath been sorer afflicted 
with her own father and mother, than ever you were with your 
imprisonment ; and yet God hath preserved her, I trust, to his glory. 

* See p. 255, Burnet Reform, ii. 477. t See p. 164. 

2Q 



298 



Brad. I pray you tell her, I read this day a godly history, 
written by Basilius Magnus, of a virtuous woman who was a widow, 
and was named Juleddo. She had great lands and many children ; 
and nigh her dwelled a cormorant, who for her virtuousness and 
godly living, had great indignation at her, and of very malice he 
took away her lands, so that she was constrained to go to law with 
him; and in conclusion, the matter came to trial before the judge, 
who demanded of this tyrant, Why he wrongfully withheld the 
lands from the woman? He made answer and said, that he might 
do so; for, saith he, this woman is disobedient to the King's 
proceedings; for she will in no wise worship his gods, nor offer 
sacrifice unto them. Then the judge, hearing that, said unto her ; 
Woman, if this be true, thou art not only likely to lose thy land, 
but also thy life, unless that thou worship our gods, and do 
sacrifice unto them. This godly woman, hearing that, slept forth 
to the judge, and said, Is there no remedy but either to worship 
your false gods, or else to lose my lands and life? Then farewell 
suit, farewell lands, farewell children, farewell friends, yea, and 
farewell life too; and in respect of the true honour of the everliving 
God, farewell all. And with that saying did the judge commit her 
to prison, and afterward she suffered most cruel death : and being 
brought to the place of execution, she exhorted all women to be 
strong and constant; for, saith she, ye were redeemed with as dear 
a price as men. For although ye were made of the rib of the man, 
yet be you all of his flesh ; so that also, in the care and trial of your 
faith towards God, ye ought to be as strong. And thus died she 
constantly, not fearing death. I pray you tell your mistress of this 
history. 

Serv. That shall I, Sir, by God's grace ; for she told me that she 
was with you and M. Saunders, and received your gentle counsel. 

Brad. We never gave her other counsel but the truth, and in 
witness thereof we have and will seal it with our bloods; for I 
thought this night that I had been sent for, because at eleven of 
the clock there was such rapping at the door. 

Female Attendant. Why then, I perceive you were afraid. 

Brad. Ye shall hear how fearful I was, for 1 considered that I 
had not slept, and I thought to take a nap before I went ; and after 



299 



I was asleep, three men came into the next chamber, and sang", as it 
was told me; and yet for all my Tearfulness, I heard them not; 
therefore belike I was not afraid, that slept so fast. 

Serv. Do you lack any thing- towards your necessity? 

Brad. Nothing but your prayers, and I trust I have them, and 
you mine. 

Serv. I saw a priest come to you to-day in the morning. 

Brad. Yea, he brought me a letter from a friar, and I am 
writing an answer. 

Serv. Then we let you, therefore the living God be with 
you. 

Brad. And with you also, and bless you. 

Serv. Amen, said he, and gave him thanks, and departed. 

After the servant was gone, Bradford reflec- 
ting upon what had passed, and tendering the 
woful case of the gentlewoman ; to the intent 
partly to confirm her with counsel, and partly 
to relieve her oppressed mind, with some com- 
fort, directed to her the following letter : 

No. 87.* 

TO A CERTAIN GODLY GENTLEWOMAN. 

Troubled and afflicted by her friends, for not coming to 

mass. 



I WISH unto you, right worshipful, and my dearly beloved sister 
in the Lord, as to myself, the continual grace, and comfort of 
Christ, and of his holy word ; through the operation of the Holy 
Spirit; who strengthen your inward man with the strength of God, 
that you may continue to the end, in the faithful obedience of God's 
Gospel, whereto you are called, Amen. 

* Fox iii. 345. 



300 



I perceived by yourself, the last day when you were with me, 
how that you are in the school-house, and trial-parlour of the Lord ; 
which to me is, at the least it should he, a great comfort to see the 
number of God's elect by you increased, who are in that state, 
whereof God hath not called many, as Paul saith. And as it is a 
comfort to me, so should it be a confirmation unto me, that the 
Lord, for his faithfulness' sake, will make perfect and finish the 
good he hath begun in you, to the end. 

If then your cross be to me a comfort, or token of your election, 
and a confirmation of God's continual favour, my dearly beloved, 
how much more ought it to be so unto you? Unto whom he hath 
not only given to believe, but also to come into the trace of suffering 
for his sake; and that not commonly of common enemies, but even 
of your own father, mother, and all your friends, I mean kinsfolk, as 
you told me. 

By which I see Christ's words to be true ; how that he came, to 
give his children such a peace with him, as the devil might not, nor 
may abide ; and therefore stirreth up father and mother, sister and 
brother, rather than it should continue. 

But, my dear sister, if you cry with David to the Lord, and " 
complain to him ; how that for conscience to him, your father and 
mother have forsaken you, you shall hear him speak in your heart, 
that he hath received you, and by this would have you to see, how 
that he maketh you here like to Christ, that elsewhere in heaven 
you might be like unto him ; whereof you ought to be most assured, 
knowing that in time, even when Christ shall appear, you shall be 
like unto him. 

For lie will make your body, which now you defile not with 
idolatrical service, in going to mass; like unto his own glorious and 
immortal body, according to the power, whereby he is able to do all 
things. He will confess you before his Father, who do not deny 
his verity, in word nor deed, before your father ; he will make you 
to reign with him, who now suffer for him and with him ; he will 
not leave you comfortless, who seek no comfort but at his hand ; 
though for a little time you be afflicted, yet therein will he comfort 
and strengthen you, and at the length make you to be merry with 
him, in such joy as is infinite and endless. He will wipe all the 



301 



tears from your eyes; lie will embrace you as your dear husband; 
he will, after he hath proved you, crown you with a crown of glory 
and immortality ; such as the heart of man shall never be able to 
conceive, in such sort as the thing 1 is. He now beholdeth your 
stedfastness, and striving to do his good will ; and shortly will he 
shew you, how stedfast he is, and will be ready to do your will, 
after that you have fully resigned it to his will. 

Pledge him in his cup of the cross, and you shall pledge him in 
the cup of his glory. Desire to drink it before it come to the dregs, 
whereof the wicked shall drink, and all those who, for fear of the 
cross, and pledging the Lord, do walk with the wicked, in betraying 
in fact and deed, that which their heart embraceth for verity. The 
which thing if you should do, which God forbid, then, my dear 
mistress and sister in the Lord, you should not only lose all that I 
have before spoken, and much more infinitely of eternal joy and 
glory ; but also be a cast-away and partaker of God's most heavy 
displeasure, in hell fire eternally ; and so for a little ease, which 
you cannot tell how long it will last^ lose for ever and ever all 
ease and comfort. For he that gathereth not with me, saith Christ, 
as no mass gospeller doth, scattereth abroad. 

According to that we do in this body, we shall receive, be it good 
or bad. If of our words we shall be judged, to condemnation or 
salvation; much more then of our facts and deeds. You cannot be 
partaker of God's religion and antichrist's service, whereof the mass 
is most principal. You cannot be a member of Christ's Church, and 
a member of the Pope's Church. You must glorify God, not only 
in soul and heart, but also in body and deed. You may not think 
that God requireth less of you, his wife now, than your husband did 
of you. If both heart and body your husband would have, shall 
Christ have less, trow you, who hath so bitterly and dearly bought 
it ? If your husband could not admit an excuse, how your heart was 
his only, if he had taken your body in bed with another; do you 
think that Christ will allow your body at mass, although your heart 
consent not to it? 

God esteemeth his children, not only of their hearts, but of their 
pure hands and works; and therefore in Elijah's time he counted 
none to be his servants and people, but such as had not bowed their 



302 



knees to Baal; as ,iow he doth not in England account any to 
be his dearlings, who know the truth in heart, and deny it in their 
deeds, as do our mass gospellers. 

We ought to desire, above all things, the sanctifying of God's 
holy name, and the coming of his kingdom; and shall we then see 
his name blasphemed so horribly as it is at mass, by making it a 
sacrifice propitiatory, and setting forth a false Christ, of the priests' 
and bakers making, to be worshipped as God, and say nothing? 
The Jews rent their clothes asunder, on seeing or hearing anything 
blasphemously done or spoken against God, and shall we yet come 
to church where mass is, and be mute? Paul and Barnabas rent 
their clothes, to see the people of Lycaonia offer sacrifice to them, and 
shall we see sacrifice and God's service done to an inanimate 
creature, and be mute? 

What thing helpeth more, or so much, antichrist's kingdom as 
doth the mass ? And what destroyeth preaching, and the kingdom 
of Christ upon earth, more than it doth ? And how can we then say, 
Let thy kingdom come, and go to mass? How can we pray before 
God, Thy will be done on earth, when we will do our own will, and 
the will of our father, or friends? How pray we, Deliver us from 
evil, who knowing the mass to be evil, do come unto it ? 

But why go I about to light a candle in the noon day, that is, to 
tell you that we may not go to mass, or to the congregation where 
it is, except it be to reprove it; in that all men, in so doing, do but 
dissemble both with God and man ? And is dissembling now to be 
allowed? How long will men yet halt on both knees, saith God? 
Halting, saith Paul, bringeth out of the way, that is to say, out of 
Christ, who is the way. So that he who is not in him, shall wither 
away, and be cast into hell fire. For Christ will be ashamed of them 
before his Father, who be now ashamed of his truth, before this 
wicked generation. 

Therefore, my good mistress, take good heed; for it had been 
better for you never to have known the truth, and therethrough to 
have escaped papistical uncleanness, than now to return to it; making 
eftsoons your members, being members of righteousness, members 
of unrighteousness, as you do, if you do but go to the church, where 
mass is. Be pure therefore, and keep yourself from all filth of the 



303 

spirit, and of the flesh, abstain not only from all evil, but from all 
appearance of evil. 

And so the God of peace shall be with you, the glory of God 
shall govern you, the spirit of God shall sanctify you, and be with 
you for ever; to keep you from all evil, and to comfort you in all 
your distress and trouble. Which is but short, if you consider the 
eternity you shall enjoy in glory and felicity in the Lord; which 
undoubtedly you shall not fail but inherit for ever, if so be you, as 
the elect child of God, put your trust in his mercy, call upon his 
name unfeignedly, and yield not ever to the wicked world, but stick 
still against it unto the end. 

God, for his holy name's sake, who is properly the God of the 
widows, be your good and dear Father for ever; and help you 
always, as I myself would be holpen at his hands, in all things, and 
especially in this his own cause. Amen, Amen. 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 88.* 



ANOTHER LETTER TO HIS MOTHER, 

As his last Farewell unto her in this World, a little before he 
was burned. 



GOD'S mercy and peace in Christ, be more and more perceived 
of us, Amen, 

My most dear mother, in the bowels of Christ, 1 heartily pray and 
beseech you, to be thankful for me unto God ; who thus now taketh 
me unto himself. 1 die not, my good mother, as a thief, a murderer, 
an adulterer, &c. ; but I die as a witness of Christ, his Gospel and 
verity, which hitherto I have confessed, I thank God, as well by 
preaching, as by imprisonment; and now, even presently, I shall most 
willingly confirm the same by fire. 

* Fox iii. 351. Cov. 454. 



304 



I acknowledge that God most justly might take me hence, 
simply for my sins, which are many, great, and grievous ; but the 
Lord, for his mercy in Christ, hath pardoned them all, I hope. But 
now, dear mother, he taketh me hence by this death, as a confessor 
and witness, that the religion taught by Christ Jesu, the prophets, 
and apostles, is God's truth. The prelates do persecute in me, 
Christ whom they hate, and his truth, which they may not abide; 
because their works are evil, and may not abide the truth and light, 
lest men should see their darkness. 

Therefore, my good and most dear mother, give thanks for me 
to God, that he hath made the fruit of your womb to be a witness of 
his glory ; and attend to the truth, which, I thank God for it, I have 
truly taught out of the pulpit of Manchester. Use often and 
continual prayer to God the Father, through Christ. Hearken, as 
you may, to the Scriptures ; serve God after his word, and not after 
custom. Beware of the Romish religion in England, defile not 
yourself with it ; carry Christ's cross, as he shall lay it upon your 
back ; forgive them that kill me ; pray for them, for they know not 
what they do ; commit my cause to God our Father ; be mindful of 
both your daughters, to keep them as you can. 

I send all my writings to you by my brother Roger; do with 
them as you will, because I cannot as 1 would ; he can tell you more 
of my mind. I have nothing to give you, or to leave behind me 
for you; only I pray God, my Father, for his Christ's sake, to bless 
you and keep you from evil. May HE give you patience, may HE 
make you thankful, as for me so for yourself, who will take the fruit 
of your womb to witness his verity; wherein I confess to the whole 
world I die; and depart this life, in hope of a much better ; which I 
look for at the hands of God my Father, through the merits of his 
dear Son, Jesus Christ. 

Thus, my dear mother, I take my last farewell of you in this 
life ; beseeching the almighty and eternal Father by Christ, to grant 
us to meet in the life to come, where we shall give him continual 
thanks and praise, for ever and ever, Amen. Out of prison, the 24 
of June, 1555. 

Your son, in the Lord, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



305 

On the Friday night previous to his execu- 
tion, Bradford dreamed that the chain prepared 
for his burning was brought to the Compter 
gate; than which in such circumstances no- 
thing could be more natural, although it might 
in his case be a preternatural intimation. 
Somewhat troubled with this dream he awoke 
about three o'clock, and spent the remainder of 
the night in prayer. He eat his dinner on the 
Saturday with his usual cheerfulness, although 
he conversed frequently with a companion who 
spent the day with him, of death, of the king- 
dom of heaven, and the prevalence* of sin at 
that period. 

In the afternoon, whilst they were walking 
together in the keeper's chamber, his wife came 
up suddenly, exclaiming, " Oh, M. Bradford, 
I come to bring you heavy news, you are to be 
burned to-morrow, they are now bringing 
your chain, and you must soon goto Newgate." 
Bradford immediately pulled off his cap, and 
lifting up his eyes to heaven, said; I thank 
God for it ; I have looked for the same a long 
time, and therefore it does not now come upon 
me suddenly, but as a matter expected by me 
every day and hour, the Lord make me worthy 



* Ripeness. 

IB 



306 



thereof; and so thanking her for her gentleness, 
departed into his chamber and went alone by 
himself, and prayed a long time in private. 
After which he returned to his friend, and de- 
livered him divers writings and papers, and 
informed him what he would have done relating 
to them ; and after they had spent the after- 
noon in sundry such matters, half-a-dozen more 
of his friends came in, with whom he spent all 
the evening in prayer, and other pious exer- 
cises. 

A little before he went out of the Compter, 
Bradford made a remarkable farewell prayer, 
with such a flow of tears, and so exceedingly 
spiritual, that it deeply affected the minds of 
the hearers. Whilst putting on a clean shirt, 
which had been made for his burning, by the 
wife of one Mr. Walter Marl#rs, and who was 
a very good nurse and kind friend to him ; he 
made another prayer on the wedding garment, 
which excited so much admiration in some of 
those who were present, that their eyes were 
as thoroughly occupied in looking on him, as 
their ears listened to his prayer. 



307 

No. 89.* 



BRADFORD'S PRAYER, 

That God would shorten the Persecution, and restore the true 
Religion. 



As David, seeing- the angel with the sword ready drawn to plague 
Jerusalem, cried unto the Lord, and said, It is /, Lord, that have 
sinned, and even I that have done wickedly; thy hand be upon me, 
and not upon thy poor sheep: wherethrough thou wast moved to 
mercy, and badest thy angel to put up his sword into the sheath, for 
thou hadst taken punishment enough : even so we, O most gracious 
God, .seeing thy fearful sword of vengeance ready drawn, and pre- 
sently striking against this commonwealth, and thy Church in the 
same ; we, I say, are occasioned every one of us to cast off our eyes 
from beholding, and narrowly espying of other men's faults, and do 
set our own only in sight, that with the same David thy servant, and 
with Jonas in the ship, we may cry, and say unto thee, that it is we, 
O Lord, that have Binned and procured thy grievous wrath upon us. 
And thus, we presently gathered, do acknowledge ourselves guilty of 
most horrible ingratitude for our good king, for thy gospel and pure 
religion, and for the peace of the Church, and quietness of the com- 
monwealth, besides our negligences, and many other grievous sins; 
wherethrough we deserved not only these, but much more grievous 
plagues and punishments, if that thou didst not presently, as thou 
art wont, extend thy mercy upon us; that thou in thine anger dost 
remember thy mercy, before we seek or sue for it. We take bold- 
ness, O gracious Lord, and as thou hast commanded us to do in our 
trouble, we come and call upon thee to be merciful unto us; and of 
jhy goodness in Christ, we most humbly pray thee to hold thy hand, 
and to cease thy wrath ; or at the least so mitigate it, that this realm 
may be quietly governed, and the same eftsoonesto be a harbour for 



* 

Strype Eccl. Mem. vol. iii. pt. 2. 281. We have not been able to discover the 
prayer, actually used upon this occasion but have substituted the above. 



308 

thy Church and true religion : and which may it please thee to 
restore again to us, for thy great mercy's sake ; and we shall praise 
thy name everlastingly, through Jesus Christ our only Saviour, 
mediator, and advocate. Amen. 



On departing out of the chamber, he likewjse 
made a prayer, and gave money to every ser- 
vant and officer of the house, with exhortations 
to them to fear and serve God continually, la- 
bouring to eschew all manner of evil. He then 
turned himself to the wall, and prayed earnestly 
that his words might not be spoken in vain, but 
that the Lord would work the same in them 
effectually, for Christ's sake. When he arrived 
in the court all the prisoners cried out to him 
to bid him farewell, as the rest of the house 
had done before, shedding many tears. 

Bradford was carried to Newgate about 
eleven or twelve o'clock at night, when it 
was thought none would be stirring abroad ; 
but contrary to expectation, there was in 
Cheapside and other places, between the 
Compter and Newgate, a great multitude of 
people who came to see him, and most 
gently bade him farewell, praying for him 
with lamentable and pitiful tears ; and he 
again as gently bade them farewell, praying 
most heartily for them and their welfare. 



309 

A rumour having been circulated over- 
night that Bradford would be burned the 
next day, in Smithfield, by four o'clock in 
the morning ; an immense multitude of men 
and women collected before that hour, but 
it was jmie o'clock before he was brought 
into Smithfield. In going through New- 
gate thitherward, he perceived a friend 
standing near the keeper's house, to whom 
he reached his hand over the people, and 
gave him his velvet night cap, and his hand- 
kerchief, with some other things. Roger 
Beswick, his brother-in-law, having taken 
Bradford by the hand, Woodroffe, one of 
the Sheriffs of London, struck Beswick with 
his staff, and made his head bleed profusely ; 
a sight which greatly afflicted our martyr, 
who immediately took an affectionate fare- 
well of his relative. 

Bradford was then led forth to Smithfield, 
conducted by a more considerable body of 
armed men, than had been seen at any similar 
execution ; for some were stationed in every 
corner of Smithfield, besides those who stood 
near the stake. Bradford suffered joyfully 
and constantly, in company with John Leafe, 
a youth of nineteen years of age, apprentice to 
a tallow chandler; and who seems to have 



310 

possessed not only great courage and con- 
stancy, but a depth of theological knowledge 
far beyond his years. When they came to 
Smithfield, M. Bradford lying prostrate on one 
side of the stake, and Leafe on the other, they 
lay flat on their faces, praying to themselves 
for t!i? space of a minute. 

Then one of the Sheriffs said to Bradford, 
Arise and make an end, for the press* of the 
people is great. Whereupon they both stood 
up on their feet, and M. Bradford took a fag- 
got in his hand and kissed it, and so likewise 
he did the stake, and then desired the Sheriffs 
that lus servant might have his raiment; say- 
ing, I have nothing else to give him. M. 
Bradford then put off his cloaths to his shirt 
and went to the stake, and holding up his 
hands and casting his countenance to heaven, 

he said, Icnglanfc, Icnglanfc, repent tfiee of 
*tn$t repent tftee of il)i) sins ; fiecause of 
fatoare of false antichrists, tafee 
t!)at tjjey 60 not fceceibe you. As he was 

speak in or these words, Woodroffe, the Sheriff, 
bad them tie his hands, if he would not be 
quiet. O master Sheriff, said Bradford, I am 
quiet, God forgive you this master Sheriff. 
One of the officers who made the fire, 

Ste Appendix, Note (PF.), 



Oil 

hearing Master Bradford speaking thus to 
the Sheriff, said ; If you have no better learn- 
ing than that, you are but a fool and had best 
hold your peace ; to which M. Bradford made 
no answer, but asked all the world forgive- 
ness, and forgave all the world, and entreated 
the people to pray for him, and turning his 
head towards the young man who suffered 
with him, said ; Be of good comfort, brother, 
for we shall have a joyful supper with the 
Lord this night; and so embracing the reeds, 
said,* Strait is the way and narrow is the 
gate, that leadeth unto eternal salvation, and 
few there be that find it. And thus they both 
ended their mortal lives, like two lambs, 
without any alteration of countenance, being 
void of all fear, hoping to obtain the price of 
the goal they had long ruaat; to the which 
(adds the martyrologist) I beseech Almighty 
God happily to conduct us, through the 
merits of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Saviour, 
Amen.t 

Having noticed the brutal conduct of the 
Sheriff Woodroffe, it appears but just to men- 
tion the contrary behaviour of his colleague 
in office, Sir William Chester; who acted 
towards Bradford and the other martyrs, 

* 1 Neale, 85. t Fox iii. 307. 



-312 

who suffered during his Shrievalty, with as 
much kindness, humanity, and respect, as 
Woodroffe discovered levity of conduct, 
cruelty, and hardened barbarity. 

In person, Bradford was somewhat tall and 
slender, spare of body, of a faint sanguine 
colour, with an auburn beard. He usually 
slept only four hours in the night, and till 
sleep overpowered him he continued reading. 
His chief recreation was in pious society and 
religious conversation, in which he spent a 
short time at table after dinner, and then to 
prayer and study again. He considered that 
hour ill spent in which he did not some 
good action, either with his pen, in his study, 
or in exhorting others. He was no niggard 
of his purse,* but would liberally participate 
what he had with his fellow prisoners ; and 
usually once a-week he visited the thieves, 
pickpockets, and such others as were on the 
other side of the prison, whom he would 
affectionately exhort, to learn from their 
troubles how to amend their lives ; and would 
afterwards distribute among them, some por- 
tion of money for their relief and comfort. 

* " He was very charitable, In so much, that in a hard time, he sold 
his chains, rings, and jewels, to relieve those who were in want." 
S. Clarke's Martyrology, vol.i. 230. 



313 

Both whilst in the King's Bench and the 
Poultry Compter, he preached twice a-day 
regularly, unless sickness hindered him; and 
frequently administered the sacrament ; and 
the keepers were so indulgent to him, that so 
many pious persons attended his sermons, and 
partook of that sacred ordinance, that his 
chamber was usually nearly full. Preaching, 
reading, and praying, constituted his whole 
life, and he always studied upon his knees. In 
the midst of a scanty dinner, which was his 
only meal, he used often to muse with him- 
self, drawing his hat over his eyes, while the 
tears streamed downward upon his trencher. 

He was of a gentle and amiable disposi- 
tion, and held in such great reverence and 
admiration by all good men, that great num- 
bers who knew him only by fame, greatly la- 
mented at his death ; and even many of the 
papists themselves wished heartily for his 
life.* He seldom went to bed without shed- 
ding tears ; and there was never any prisoner 
with him who did not profit greatly by his 
society; as all those with whom he associ- 
ated were ready to testify, and confessed no 
less to the glory of God.f 



1 See Appendix, Note (GG.) t See Appendix, Note (HH.) 

2s 



314 

IN MORTEM JOHANNIS BRADFORDI, 

Constantissimi Martyris. 



Discipulo nulli supra licet esse magistrum: 
Quique Deo servit, tristia multa feret. 

Corripit omnipotens natum quem diligit omnem : 
Ad ccelum stricta est difficilisque via. - 

Has Bradforde tuo dum condis pectore voces, 
Non hominum rigidas terribilesque minas, 

Sed nee blanditias, non vim, nee vincula curas, 
Tradis et accensce membra cremanda pyrae. 



Besides the letters we have already intro- 
duced, this holy martyr wrote several others ; 
with which, not being able from their con- 
tents or otherwise, to ascribe them to any 
particular period, we conclude this interest- 
ing and instructive compendium, of the faith 
and practice of one of the most pious, learned, 
and faithful of the ENGLISH REFORMERS ; 
and as we imagine, of the principles upon 
which the REFORMATION in ENGLAND pro- 
ceeded. 



315 

No. 90.* 



To his loving Brethren, B. and C., with their Wives and 
whole Families. 



I BESEECH the overliving 1 God to give to you all, my good 
brethren and sisters, the comfort of his Holy Spirit, and the continual 
feeling of his mercy in Christ our Lord, now and for ever, Amen. 

The world, my brethren, at this present, seemeth to have the 
upper hand, iniquity overfloweth, the truth and verity seem to be 
suppressed, and they who take part therewith are unjustly entreated. 
The cause of all this is God's anger, because we have grievously 
sinned against him ; his mercy, because he here punisheth us, and 
as a father nurtureth us. 

We have been unthankful for his word, we have contemned his 
kindness, we have been negligent in prayer; we have been too 
carnal, covetous, licentious, &c. ; we have not hastened to heaven- 
ward, but rather to hellward ; we were fallen almost into an open 
contempt of God, and all his good ordinances. So that, of his 
justice he could not long forbear, but make us to feel his anger, as 
now he hath done in taking his word and true service from us, and 
permitting satan to serve us with antichristian religion ; and that in 
such sort, that if we will not yield to him, and seem to allow it in 
deed and outward fact ; our bodies are like to be laid in prison, and 
our goods given we cannot tell to whom. 

This should we look upon, as a sign of God's anger, procured 
by our sins ; which, my good brethren, every one of us should 
now call to our memories oftentimes, as particularly as we can ; that 
we might heartily lament them, repent them, hate them, ask 
earnestly mercy for them, and submit ourselves to bear in this life 
any kind of punishment, which God will lay upon us for them. 
Thus should we do, in consideration of God's anger in this time. 

Now his mercy in this time of wrath is seen, and should be seen 

5 

* Fox iii. 317. COT. 330. 



316 

of us, my dearly beloved, in this, that God doth vouchsafe to punish 
us in this present life. If he should not have punished us, do not ye 
think, that we would have continued in the evils \ve were in? Yea, 
verily, we would have been worse, and have gone forwards, in 
hardening- our hearts by impenitence and negligence towards God 
and true godliness: and then if death had come, should not we 
have perished, both soul and body, in eternal fire and perdition? 

Alas, what misery should we have fallen into, if God should have 
suffered us to have gone forward in our evils ? There is no greater 
sign of damnation, than to live in evil and sin, unpunished of God ; 
as now the papists, my dearly beloved, are cast into Jezebel's bed of 
security, which of all plagues is the most grievous plague that can 
be. They are bustards and not sons, for they are not under God's 
rod of correction. A great mercy it is therefore that God doth 
punish us; for if he loved us not, he would not punish us. 

Now doth he chastise us, that we should not be damned with the 
world. Now doth he nurture us, because he favoureth us. Now may 
we think ourselves to be God's household and children, because he 
beginneth his chastening at us. Now calleth he us to remember 
our sins past, Wherefore? That we might repent and ask mercy. 
And why? That he might forgive us, pardon us, justify us, and 
make us his children, and so begin to make us here like unto Christ, 
that we might be like unto him elsewhere, even in heaven, where 
already we are set by faith with Christ; and at his coming, in very 
deed, shall enjoy his presence, when our sinful and vile bodies shall 
be made like to Christ's glorious body, according to the power, 
whereby he is able to make all things subject to himself. 

Therefore, my brethren, let us in respect hereof, not lament, but 
laud God ; not be sorry, but be merry ; not weep, but rejoice, and 
be glad that God doth vouchsafe to offer us his cross, thereby to 
come to him, to endless joys and comforts. For if we suffer, we 
shall reign ; if we confess him before men, he will confess us before 
his Father in heaven ; if we be not ashamed of his Gospel now, he 
will not be ashamed of us in the last day, but will be glorified in 
us; crowning us with crowns of joy and endless felicity. For 
blessed are they that suffer persecution for righteousness 7 sake, for 
theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 



317 

Be glad, saitli Peter, for the Spirit of God resteth upon you. 
After that ye are a little while afflicted, God will comfort, strengthen, 
and confirm you. And therefore, my good brethren, be not dis- 
couraged for cross, for prison, or loss of goods, for the confession of 
Christ's Gospel and truth ; which ye have believed, and lively was 
taught amongst you, in the days of our late good and most holy 
prince, King Edward. 

This is most certain, if ye lose any thing for Christ's sake, and 
for contemning the antichristian service set up again among us; as 
you for your parts, even in prison, shall find God's great and rich 
mercy, far passing all worldly wealth; so shall your wives and 
children, in this present life, find and feel God's providence more 
plentifully than tongue can tell ; for he will shew merciful kindness 
on thousands of them that love him. The good man's seed shall not 
go begging his bread ; ye are good men, so many as suffer for 
Christ's sake. 

I trust ye all, my dearly beloved, will consider this gear with 
yourselves, and in the cross for God's mercy, which is more sweet, 
and more to be set by than life itself; much more then, than any 
muck or pelf of this world. This mercy of God should make you 
merry and cheerful, for the afflictions of this life, are not to be 
compared to the joys of the life prepared for you. Ye know the way 
to heaven is not the wide way of the world, which windeth to the 
devil ; but is a strait way, which few walk in, for few live godly in 
Christ Jesu, few regard the life to come, few remember the day of 
judgment, few remember how Christ will deny them before his 
Father, that deny him here. Few consider that Christ will be 
ashamed of them in the last day, who are ashamed now of his truth 
and true service ; few cast their accounts, what will be laid to their 
charge in the day of vengeance; few regard the condemnation of 
their own consciences, in doing that which inwardly they disallow ; 
few love God better than their goods. But, I trust yet, ye are of 
these few, my dearly beloved ; I trust ye be of the little flock, which 
shall inherit the kingdom of heaven ; I trust ye are of the mourners 
and lamenters, who shall be comforted with God's comforts which 
never shall be taken from you, if ye now repent your former evils, if 
now ye strive against the evils that are in you; if now ye continue to 



318 

call upon God, if now ye defile not your bodies with any idolatrous 
service, used in the antichristian churches; if ye molest not the good 
Spirit of God, which is given you as a pledge of eternal redemption ; 
a counsellor and master to lead you into all truth. Which good 
Spirit, I beseech the Father of mercy to give us all, for his dear 
Son's sake, Jesus Christ our Lord ; to whom I commend you all, 
and to the word of his grace, which is able to help you all and save 
you, ail-that believe it, follow it, and serve God thereafter. 

And of this I would ye were all certain, that all the hairs of your 
heads are numbered ; so that not one of them shall perish, neither 
shall any man or devil be able to attempt any thing, much less to 
do any thing to you, or any of you, before your heavenly Father, 
who loveth you most tenderly, shall give them leave ; and when he 
hath given them leave, they shall go no further than he will; nor 
keep you in trouble any longer than he will. 

Therefore cast on him all your care, for he is careful for you ; 
only study to please him, and to keep your consciences clear, and 
your bodies pure from the idolatrous service, which now everywhere 
is used ; and God will marvellously and mercifully defend and 
comfort you; which thing may he do for his name's sake, in Christ 
our Lord ; Amen. 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 91.* 

To his dearly beloved and faithful Friends in God, ERKEN- 
WALDE RAWLINS and WIFE, exhorting them to be joyful 
under the Cross, as a Token of God's singular Favour 
towards them. 



GOD, our dear and most merciful Father, through Christ, be with 
yon, my good brother and sister, as with his children for ever; and in 

* Fox iii. 318. Cov. 314. 



319 



all things so guide you with his Holy Spirit, the leader of his people, 
as may be to his glory, and your own everlasting joy and comfort in 
him. Amen. 

Because I have oftentimes received from either of you comfort 
corporally, for the which I beseech the Lord, as to make me thank- 
ful, so to recompense you, both now and eternally; I cannot but go 
about, Lord help me hereto for thy mercy's sake, to write something 
for your comfort spiritually. My dearly beloved, look not upon these 
days, and the afflictions of the same here with us, simply as they seem 
unto you; that is, as dismal days, and days of God's vengeance, but 
rather as lively days, and days of God's fatherly kindness towards 
you, and such as ye be, that is, towards such as repent their sins and 
evil life past, and earnestly purpose to amend; walking not after the 
will of the world, as the most part of men do for the preservation of 
their pelf, which, will they, nill they, they shall leave sooner or later, 
and to whom, or how it shall be used, they know not. 

Indeed, to such as walk in their wickedness, and wind on with 
the world, this time is a time of wrath and vengeance, and their 
beginning of sorrow is but now; because they contemn the physic of 
their father, who by these purging times and cleansing days, would 
work their weal, which they will not. And because they will not 
have God's blessing, which both ways he hath offered unto them, 
by prosperity and adversity, therefore it shall be kept far enough 
from them; as when the sick man will have no kind of physic, at 
the hands of the physician, he is left alone, and so the malady 
increaseth, and destroyeth him, at the length. To such men indeed, 
these days are and should be doleful days, days of woe and weeping, 
because their damnation draweth nigh. But unto such as be 
penitent, and are desirous to live after the Lord's will, among whom 
I do not only count you, but as far as man may judge, I know ye 
are ; unto such, I say, this time is and should be comfortable. 

For, first now, your Father chastised you and me for our sins; for 
the which, if he would have destroyed us, then would he have let us 
alone, and left us to ourselves, in nothing to take to heart his fatherly 
visitation, which here it pleaseth him to work presently; because 
elsewhere he will not remember our transgressions, as Paul writeth, 
He chastiseth us in the world, lest with the world we should perish. 



320 



Therefore, iny dear hearts, call to miud your sins, to lament them, 
and to ask mercy for them in his sight; and withal, undoubtedly 
believe to obtain pardon and assured forgiveness of the same, for 
twice the Lord punisheth not for one thing. So that, I say, first, 
we have cause to rejoice for these days, because our Father suffereth 
us not to lie in Jezebel's bed, sleeping in our sins and security, but 
as mindful of us, doth correct us as his children ; whereby we may 
be certain that we are not bastards, but children, for he chastiseth 
every child whom he receiveth. So that they who are not partakers 
of his chastising, or who contemn it, declare themselves to be 
bastards, and not children, as J know ye are, who, as ye are 
chastised, so do ye take it to heart acc6rdingly. And therefore be 
glad, my dear hearts, as folks knowing certainly, even by this visita- 
tion of the Lord, that ye are his dear elect children ; whose faults your 
Father doth visit with the rod of correction, but his mercy will he 
never take away from you, Amen. 

Secondly, ye have cause to rejoice for these days, because they 
are days of trial, wherein not only ye yourselves shall better know 
yourselves; but also the world shall know, that ye be none of its, 
but the Lord's dearlings. Before these days came, Lord God, how 
many thought of themselves, they had been in God's bosom, and so 
were taken, and would be taken of the world ? But now we see whose 
they are, for to whom we obey, his servants we are. If we obey the 
world, which God forbid, and hitherto ye have not done it, then are 
we the world's; but if we obey God, then are we God's; which 
thing, I mean that ye are God's, these days have declared, both to 
you, to me, and to all other that know you, better than ever we 
knew it. 

Therefore ye have no cause to sorrow, but rather to sing, in 
seeing yourselves to be God's babes, and in seeing that all God's 
children do so count you. What though the world repine thereat ? 
What though it kick? What though it seek to trouble and molest 
you? My dear hearts, it doth but its kind. He cannot love the 
Lord, who lives not in the Lord ; he cannot brook the child, who 
hateth the father; he cannot mind the servant, who careth not for 
the master. If ye were of the world, the world would love you, ye 
should dwell quietly, there would be no grief, no molestation. If 



3-21 



the devil dwelt in you, which the Lord forbid, he would not stir up 
his knights to besiege your home, to snatch at your goods, or suffer 
his fiends to enter into your hogs. But because Christ dwelleth in 
you, as he doth by faith, therefore satan stirreth up his first begotten 
son, the world, to seek how to disquiet you, to rob you, to spoil you, 
to destroy you. 

And perchance, your dear Father, to try and to make known unto 
you, and to the world, that ye are destinate to another dwelling 
than here on earth, to another city than man's eyes have seen at any 
time; hath given, or will give power to satan, and to the world, to 
take from you the things which he hath lent you; and by taking 
them away, to try your fidelity, obedience, and love towards him ; 
for ye may not love them above him, as by giving that ye have, and 
keeping it, he hath declared his love towards you. 

Satan, perchance, telleth God, as he did of Job, that ye love God 
for your good's sake. What now then, if the Lord, to try you with 
Job, shall give him power over your goods, and body accordingly, 
should ye be dismayed ? Should ye despair ? Should ye be faint- 
hearted ? Should ye not rather rejoice, as did the apostles, that they 
were counted worthy to suffer any thing for the Lord's sake ? Oh, 
forget not the end that happened to Job ; for as it happened to him, 
so shall it happen unto you ; for God is the same God, and cannot 
long forget to shew mercy to them, that look and long for it, as I 
know ye do; and I pray you do so still, for the Lord loveth you, and 
never can nor will forget, to shew and pour out his mercy upon 
you. 

After a little while that he hath afflicted and tried you, saith 
Peter, he will visit, comfort, and confirm you. As to Jacob, 
wrestling with the angel, at the length morning came, and the sun 
arose ; so, dear hearts, doubtless it will happen unto you. Howbeit, 
do ye as Job and Jacob did, that is, order and dispose your things 
that God hath lent you as you may, and whilst you have time. 
Who knoweth whether God hath given you power thus long, even 
to that end. 

Go to therefore, dispose your goods, prepare yourselves to trial, 
that either ye may stand to it like God's champions ; or if ye feel 
such infirmity in yourselves, that ye be not able, give place to 



-322 



violence, and go where you may, with free and safe conscience, serve 
the Lord. Think not this counsel to come by chance or fortune, 
hut to come from the Lord ; other oracles we may not look for now. 
As God told Joseph in a dream, by an angel, that he should fly ; 
so if ye feel such infirmity in yourselves, as should turn to God's 
dishonour, and your own destruction withal ; know that at this 
present, I am as God's angel, to admonish you to take time whilst 
ye have it; and to see that in no case, God's name by you may 
be dishonoured. Joseph might have objected the omission of his 
vocation, as perchance ye will do ; but, dear hearts, let vocations and 
all things else, give place to God's name, and the sanctifying 
thereof. 

This I speak, not as though 1 would not have you rather to 
tarry, and to stand to it, but I speak it in respect of your infirmity, 
which, if you feel to be so great in you, that you are not certain of 
this hope, that God will never tempt you above your ability ; fly and 
get you hence, and know that thereby God will have you tried, to 
yourselves and to others. For by this you shall know, how to take 
this world, and your home here as no home ; but that ye look for 
another, and so give occasion to others, less to love this world ; and 
perchance to some to doubt of their religion, wherein, though they 
be earnest, yet would not they lose so much as ye do for your 
religion, which ye confirm to me and others, by your giving place 
to violence. 

Last of all, ye have cause to rejoice over these days, because they 
be days of conformation ; in the which, and by the which, God our 
Father maketh us like to Christ's image here, that we may be like 
to him elsewhere. For if we suffer with him, we shall reign with 
him ; if we be buried with him, we shall rise with him ; if we 
company with him in afflictions, we shall rejoice with him in glory; 
if we sow with him in tears, we shall reap with him in gladness; if 
we confess him before men, he will confess us before his Father in 
heaven. If we take his part, he will take ours ; if we lose aught foi 
his name's sake, he will give us all things for his truth's sake; 
so that we ought to rejoice and be glad, for it is not given to every- 
one to suffer loss of country, life, goods, home, &c. for the Lord't 
sake. 



323 



What can God the Father do more unto us, than to call us into the 
camp with his Son ? What may Christ, our Saviour, do more for us, 
than to make us his warriors ? What can the Holy Ghost do to us 
above this, to mark us with the cognizance of the Lord of Hosts ? 
This cognizance of the Lord, standeth not in forked caps, tippets, 
shaven crowns, or such other baggage, and antichristian pelf, but in 
suffering for the Lord's sake. The world shall hate you, saith 
Christ. Lo, there is the cognizance and badge of God's children, 
the world shall hate you. 

Rejoice, therefore, rny dearly beloved, rejoice that God doth thus 
vouchsafe to begin to conform you, and make you like to Christ. 
By the trial of these days, ye are occasioned more to repent, more 
to pray, more to contemn this world, more to desire life everlasting, 
more to be holy ; for holy is the end wherefore God doth afflict us, 
and so come to God's company. Which thing, because, we cannot 
do, as long as this body is as it is, therefore, by the door of death, 
we must enter with Christ, into eternal life, and immortality of soul 
and body; which God of his mercy send shortly, for our Saviour, 
Jesus Christ's sake, Amen. 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 92.* 

TO HIS GOOD FRIENDS, IN THE LORD, 
M. R. AND HIS WIFE.t 



MY dearly beloved, I heartily commend me unto you in our 
common Christ, whom I so call, not that I would make him as 
common things be, that is, nothing set by, but because by him we 
are brought into a communion ; and that as with him, so with his 
Father, and as with his Father, so with all God's people, if we be 
his people, as I trust we are ; and therefore write 1 unto you, as one 

* Cov. 383. t Most probably the same persons as the last. 



324 



careful, but not so much as I should be, for you, as for them whose 
well-doing comforteth me and is profitable to me, and whose evil- 
doing maketh me heavy, and woundeth me. 

The days are come, in the which we cannot but declare what 
we be, if we be indeed as we should be, as I trust we are, that is, 
if we be Christ's disciples. I mean we cannot now do as the world 
doth, or say as it saith ; but as God's Church doth and saith. The 
world seeketh itself, and speaketh thereafter. The Church of God 
seeketh Christ's glory, and speaketh accordingly. The worldlings 
follow the world ; the Church-children follow their Captain Christ, 
and therefore, as of the world they are not known to be as they be, 
so are they hated, and if God permit it, are persecuted and slain ; 
the which persecution is the true touchstone, which trieth the true 
Church-children from hypocrites, as the wind doth the wheat from 
the chaff. 

And of this gear, this our time and age setteth very many forth 
for example, doctrine, and fear, who once were hearty and very 
zealous; and now are so cold, that they smell nothing of the spirit; 
for they are not only afraid to seem to speak with a Church-child, 
but also ashamed ; and not only ashamed of them, and so of that 
which they profess, but also frame and fashion themselves, in all 
outward behaviour, as in coming to church and hearing mass, so as 
no man can accuse them for not allowing it, or not honouring it, as 
well as the papists. Whereas in their hearts they disallow it, and 
know the same to be naught, at the least, they have known it ; but 
halting out of the way, may perchance have brought them so far, 
that now they cannot see the way, they are so far and so long gone 
astray; for the further and longer a man goeth wide, the harder shall 
it be to recover and see the way ; and therefore the apostle giveth 
warning thereof, Heb. xii. as doth Moses, Deut. xxix., speaking of 
men who bless themselves, inwardly cursing themselves; read both 
the chapters, I pray you. 

And mark the example of M. Hales,* who after that he consented 
to seem to allow in outward fact, that which he knew once was evil, 
was fearfully left of GOD, to our admonition. For albeit God hath 

* See Appendix, Note (P.) 



325 



not done thus to all, who have indeed done that which M. Hales 
purposed to do ; yet in this example, God teacheth us how fearful 
a thing it is, to wound our consciences, and do any thing there- 
against, to the offence of the godly, and comfort of the ob- 
stinate. 

I write not this, as thereof to accuse you or either of you, for as 
I cannot lightly be persuaded of any such thing of you, so 1 am 
assured you hitherto would not do any such thing ; for I ween there 
be yet no great penalty, to punish you for not so doing, if thereof 
you should have been accused. For he that will do a thing unforced, 
I cannot hope any thing of the same, but that he will run apace 
when he is forced. But of this enough to you, who are to be 
comforted and exhorted, to continue in that pureness of religion, 
which you have, as I think, hitherto received, and by your open 
conversation protested. 

Howbeit, considering how you have heard and read, as much as 
in manner can be spoken herein, for the Scriptures, which of them- 
selves are most perfect herein, you have read and read again ; I 
think it good to exhort you, to use earnest and hearty prayer, as I 
trust you do, and then doubtless God will so write that you have 
read, in your hearts, as shall W both comfortable and profitable, 
unto you and others plentifully. . 

You shall rejoice in the strait way, which few find, and fewer 
walk in, but most few continue therein to the end. You shall suffer 
with joy, the direption of your goods, because the best part of your 
substance is in heaven. You will set before you (he example of 
Christ, the beginner and ender of your faith, who suffered much 
more than we can suffer, that we should not be faint hearted. You 
will rejoice, and greatly, because great is your reward in heaven. 
You will be glad that God accounteth you worthy to suffer any 
thing, for his sake. You will set before you the end of this your 
short cross, and the great glory which will ensue the same. You 
will know, that it is no small benefit of God, to suffer for his sake. 
You will know, that your sorrowing shall be turned to joying. You 
will know, that as God doth make you now like to Christ in 
suffering, so shall you be in reigning; and if you be partakers 
of affliction, you shall be also of glory, &c. Suinma, you will know 



326 



that this is the surest and safest way to heaven, which is called the 
kingdom of patience, Rev. i. 

But because I have written a little treatise hereof, and of the harm 
of halting with the world, in coming to mass, I send them both unto 
you to peruse and read them, and then at your leisure, to redeliver 
them to this bringer ; or my man, whom I shall send to you for the 
same. In the mean season, I shall as heartily as I can, pray to God 
for you both, my most dear members in the Lord. What said 1, as 
heartily as I can ? God forgive me, for I do nothing so well as I 
might, in that 1 flatter myself too much; may God not lay it to my 
charge. 

Indeed I have most cause to pray night and day, and to give 
thanks night and day, for you both. The Lord of mercy in Christ 
bless you both, keep you both, and send you both, as well to do, as 
I wish to my dearest and best beloved friends and brethren in the 
Lord. I pray you continue to pray for me, as I doubt not you do, 
and so give thanks to God for me, for he is good, and his mercy 
endureth for ever. The day will come, when we shall meet together, 
and never depart. God send it shortly, Amen. 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 93.* 

TO HIS VERY GOOD FRIEND IN THE LORD, 
DR. ALBERT HILL, PHYSICIAN. 



THE God of mercy, and Father of all comfort, at this present and 
for ever, engraft in your heart the sense of his mercy in Christ, and 
the continuance of his consolation, which cannot but enable you to 
carry with joy, whatsoever cross he shall lay upon you, Amen. 

Hitherto I could have no such liberty as to write unto you, as I 
think you know; but now in that, through God's providence, I have 

* Fox iii. 320. Cov. 21)4. 



327 



no such restraint, I cannot but something write, as well to purge me 
of the suspicion of unthankfulness towards you, as also to signify my 
carefulness for you in these perilous days; lest you should wax cold 
in God's cause, which God forbid ; or suffer the light of the Lord, 
once kindled in your heart, to be quenched, and so become as you 
were before ; after the example of the world, and of many others, who 
would have been accounted otherwise in our days, and yet still be- 
guile themselves, still would be so accounted, although by their 
outward life, they declare the contrary ; in that they think it enough 
to keep the heart pure, notwithstanding that the outward man doth 
curry favour. 

In which doings, as they deny God to be jealous, and therefore 
requireth he the whole man, as well body as soul, being both create, 
as to immortality and society with him, so redeemed by the blood of 
Jesus Christ, and now sanctified by the Holy Spirit to be the tern- 
pleof God, and member of his Son ; as I say, by their parting stake, 
to give God the heart, and the world their body, they deny God to 
be jealous ; for else they would give him both, as the wife will do to 
her husband, whether he be jealous or no, if she be honest, so they 
play the dissemblers with the Church of God by their fact, offending 
the godly, whom either they provoke to fall with them, or make 
more careless and conscienceless, if they be fallen ; and occasioning 
the wicked and obstinate to triumph against God, and the more 
vehemently to prosecute their malice against such, as will not 
defile themselves in body or soul with the Romish rags, now revived 
amongst us. 

Because of this, I mean lest you, my dear master and brother in 
the Lord, should do as many of our gospellers, or rather gospel 
spillers do, for fear of man, whose breath is in his nostrils, and hath 
power but of the body, not fearing the Lord, who hath power both 
of soul and body; and that not only temporally, but also eternally; 
I could not but write something unto you, as well because duty 
deserveth it, for many benefits I have received of God by your hands, 
for the which may he reward you, for I cannot, as also because cha- 
rity and love compellcth me. Not that I think you have any need, 
for as I may rather learn of you, so I doubt not but you have hitjierto 
kept yourself upright from halting, but that I might both quiet my 



328 

conscience, calling- upon me hereabout, and signify unto yon by 
something, my carefulness for your soul, as painfully and often, you 
have done for my body. 

Therefore, I pray you, call to mind, that there be but t\vo 
masters, two kinds of people, two ways, and two mansion places 
The masters be Christ, and satan ; the people be servitors to either 
of these; the ways be strait and wide; the mansions be heaven, and 
hell. Again, consider that this world is the place of trial of God's 
people, and the devil's servants ; for as the one will follow his 
master, whatsoever cometh of it, so will the other. For a time, it is 
hard to discern who pertaineth to God, and who to the devil; as in 
the calm and peace, who is a good shipman and warrior, and who 
is not. But as when the storm ariseth, the expert mariner is 
known ; as in war the good soldier is seen ; so in affliction and the 
cross, easily God's children are known, from satan's servants. For 
then, as the good servant will follow his master, so will the godly 
follow their captain, come what, come will ; whereas the wicked and 
hypocrites will bid adieu, and desire less of Christ's acquaintance. 

For which cause, the cross is called a probation and a trial, 
because it trieth who will go with God, and who will forsake him ; 
as now in England we see how small a company Christ hath, 
in comparison of satan's soldiers. Let no man deceive himself, for 
he that gathereth not with Christ, scattereth abroad. No man can 
serve two masters; the Lord abhorreth double hearts; the luke- 
warm, that is, such as are both hot and cold, he spitteth out of his 
mouth. None that halt on both knees, doth God take for his 
servants. The way of Christ is the strait way, and so strait, that as 
few find it, and few walk in it, so no man can halt in it, but needs 
must go upright ; for as the straitness will suffer no reeling to this 
side or that side, so if any man halt, lie is like to fall off the bridge, 
into the pit of eternal perdition. 

Strive therefore, good Master Doctor, now you have found it, to 
enter into it ; and if you should be called or pulled back, look not on 
this side, or that side, or behind you as Lot's wife did; but straight- 
forwardson the end, which is set before you, though it be to come, as 
even now present ; like as you do, and will your patients to do, in pur- 
gations and other your ministrations, to consider the effect that will 



329 

ensue ; wherethrough the bitterness and loathsomeness of the purga- 
tion is so overcome, and the painfulness, in abiding the working of 
what is ministered, is so eased, that it maketh the patient willingly 
and joyfully to receive what is to be received, although it be never so 
unpleasant; so, I say, set before you the end of this strait way, and 
then doubtless, as Paul saith, ^Eternum pondus glorise pariet, whilst 
you look not on the thing seen, for that is temporal, but on the thing 
which is not seen, which is eternal. 

So doth the husbandman, in ploughing and tilling, set before him 
the harvest time; so doth the fisher consider the draught of his net, 
rather than the casting in; so doth the merchant, the return of his 
merchandise ; and so should we, in these stormy days, set before us, 
not the loss of our goods, liberty, and very life; but the reaping 
time, the coming of our Saviour Christ to judgment, the fire that 
shall burn the wicked and disobedient to God's gospel, the blast of 
the trump, the exceeding glory prepared for us in heaven eternally; 
such as the eye hath not seen, the ear hath not heard, nor the heart 
of man can conceive. 

The more we lose here, the greater joy shall we have there; the 
more we suffer, the greater triumph: for corruptible dross, we shall 
find incorruptible treasures; for gold, glory; for silver, solace with- 
out end ; for riches, robes royal; for earthly homes, eternal palaces, 
mirth without measure, pleasure without pain, felicity endless: Sum- 
ma, we shall have God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. 

Oh, happy place ! oh, that this day would come, then shall the 
end of the wicked be lamentable, then shall they receive the just 
reward of God's vengeance; then shall they say, woe, woe, that ever 
they did as they have done. Read Wisd. ii.iii. iv. v. Matt. xxv. 
1 Cor. xv. 2 Cor. v. and by faith, which God increase in us, con- 
sider the things there set forth. And for your comfort, read Heb. 
xi. to see what faith hath done; always considering the way to 
heaven to be by many tribulations, and that all they who will live 
godly in Christ Jesu, must suffer persecution. 

You know that this is our alphabet ; he that will be my disciple, 
saith Christ, must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow 
me; not this bishop, nor that doctor; not this emperor, nor that 
king, but ME, saith Christ; for he that loveth father, mother, wife, 

2u 



children, or very life, better than me, is not worthy of me. Remem- 
ber that the same Lord saith, He that will save his life, shall lose it. 
Comfort yourself with this, that as the devils had no power over the 
porkets, or over Job's goods, without God's leave, so shall they have 
none over you. Remember also, that all the hairs of your head are 
numbered with God. The devil may make one believe he will drown . 
him, as the sea in its surges threateneth the land ; but as the Lord 
hath appointed bounds for the one, over the which it cannot pass, so 
hath he done for the other. 

On God therefore cast your care, love him, serve him after his 
word, fear him, trust in him, hope at his hand for all help, and always 
pray, looking for the cross; and whensoever it cometh, be assured 
the Lord, as he is faithful, so will he never tempt you further, than 
he will make you able to bear ; but in the midst of the temptation, 
will make such an evasion, as shall be most to his glory, and your 
eternal comfort. 

God, for his mercy in Christ, with his Holy Spirit endue you, 
comfort you, under the wings of his mercy shadow you, and as his 
dear child guide you for evermore. To whose merciful tuition, as I 
do with my hearty prayer commit you ; so I doubt not but you pray 
forme also, and so I beseech you to do still. My brother P.* telleth 
me, you would have the last part of St. Jerome's works, to have the 
use thereof for a fortnight. I cannot for these three days well for- 
bear it, but yet on Thursday next I will send it you, if God let me 
not ; and use me, and that I have, as your own. The Lord for his 
mercy in Christ, direct our ways to his glory, Amen. 
Out of prison by yours to command, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



* Most probably the martyr Philpot. 



331 

No. 94.* 



TO HIS DEAR FRIENDS AND BRETHREN, 
R. AND E., WITH THEIR WIVES AND FAMILIES. 



THE comfort of Christ, felt commonly of his children, in their 
cross for his sake, the everliving God work in both your hearts, my 
good brethren, and in the hearts of both your yoke-fellows, especi- 
ally of good Mary, my good sister in the Lord, Amen. 

If I had not something heard of the hazard which you are in for 
the gospel's sake, if you continue the profession and confession 
thereof, as I trust you do and will do, and that unto the end, God 
enabling you ; as he will doubtless, for his mercy's sake, if you hope 
in him, for this bindeth him, as David in Christ's person witnesseth, 
Our fathers hoped in thee and thou deliveredst them, &c. Ps. xxii. ; 
yet by conjectures I could not but suppose, though not so certainly, 
the time of your suffering and probation to be at hand. For now is the 
power of darkness fully come upon this realm, most justly for our 
sins, and abusing the light lent us of the Lord, to the setting forth 
of ourselves, more than of God's glory ; that as well we might be 
brought into the better knowledge of our evils, and so heartily re- 
pent, which God grant us to do; as also we might have more feeling 
and sense of our sweet Saviour Jesus Christ, by the humbling and 
dejecting of us, thereby to make us, as more desirous of him, so him 
more sweet and pleasant unto us ; the which thing the good Spirit of 
God work sensibly in all our hearts, for God's holy name's sake. 

For this cause I thought it my duty, being now where I have 
some liberty to write, the Lord be praised, and hearing of you as I 
hear ; to do that which I should have done if I had heard nothing 
at all; that is, to desire you to be of good cheer and comfort in the 
Lord, although in the world you see cause rather to the contrary, and 
to go on forwards in the way of God, whereinto you are entered ; 
considering that the same cannot, but so much more and more wax 

* Fox iii. 332. Cov. 338. 



332 



strait to the outward man, by how much you draw nearer the end of 
it. Even as in the travail of a woman, the nearer she draweth to her 
delivery, the more her pains increase ; so it goeth with us in the 
Lord's way, the nearer we draw to our deliverance by death, to 
eternal felicity. 

Example whereof we have, I will not say in the holy prophets and 
apostles of God, who when they were young girded themselves and 
went in manner whither they would, but when they waxed old, they 
went girded of others whither they would not, concerning the out- 
ward man; but rather and most lively in our Saviour Jesus Christ 
whose life and way was much more painful to him towards the end, 
than it was at the beginning. And no marvel, for satan can some- 
thing abide a man to begin well and set forwards, but rather than he 
should go on to the end, he will vomit his gorge, and cast floods to 
overflow him, before he will suffer that to come to pass. 

Therefore, as we should not be dismayed now at this world, as 
though some strange thing had happened unto us, in that it is but 
as it was wont to be to the godly, in that the devil declareth himself 
after his old wont; in that we have professed no less but to forsake 
the world and the devil, as God's very enemy; in that we learned no 
less at the first, when we came to God's school, than to deny ourselves, 
and to take up our cross, and follow our master, who leadeth us none 
other way, than he himself hath gone before us. As, I say, we 
should not be dismayed, so we should with patience and joy go 
forwards, if we set before us as present, the time to come, like as the 
wife in her travail, doth the deliverance of her child, and as the saints 
of God did, but especially our Saviour and pattern Jesus Christ; for 
the apostle saith, He set before him the joy and glory to come, and 
therefore contemned the shame and sorrow of the cross ; so if we 
did, we should find at the length as they found. 

For whom would it grieve, who had a long journey to go, to go 
through a piece of foul way, if he knew that after that, the way 
should be most pleasant, yea the journey should be ended, and he 
at his resting place most happy? Who will be afraid or loth to 
leave a little pelf for a little time, if he knew he should shortly after 
receive most plentiful riches ? Who will be unwilling for a little 
while to forsake his wife, children, br friends, &c. when he knows 



333 



he shall shortly after be associated unto them inseparably, even after 
his own heart's desire ? Who will be sorry to forsake this life, who 
cannot but be most certain of eternal life ? Who loveth the shadow 
better than the body? Who can love this life, but they who regard 
not the life to come ? Who can desire the dross of this world, but 
such as be ignorant of the treasures of the everlasting joy in 
heaven ? I mean, Who is afraid to die, but such as hope not to live 
eternally ? 

Christ hath promised pleasures, riches, joy, felicity, and all good 
things, to them who for his sake lose any thing, or suffer any sorrow. 
And is he not true? How can he but be true, for guile was never 
found in his mouth ? Alas, then why are we so slack and slow, yea 
hard of heart to believe his promising us, thus plentifully, eternal 
blissfulness ; and are so ready to believe the world, promising us 
many things, and paying us nothing ? If we will curry favour now, 
and halt on both knees ; if so, then it promiseth us peace, quietness, 
and many things else. But how doth it pay this gear ? Or if it 
pay it, with what quietness of conscience ? Or if so, how long, 
I pray you ? Do not we see before our eyes men to die shamefully, 
I mean, as rebels and other malefactors, who refuse to die for God's 
cause? What way is so sure a way to heaven, as to suffer in Christ's 
cause? If there be any way on horseback to heaven, surely this is 
the way. By many troubles, saith the apostle, we must enter into 
heaven. All that will live godly in Christ Jesu, must suffer 
persecution. For the world cannot love them that are of God ; the 
devil cannot love his enemies; the world will love none but his 
own ; but you are Christs, therefore look for no love here. Should 
we look for tire to quench our thirst? And as soon shall God's true 
servants, find peace and favour in antichrist's regiment. 

Therefore, my dearly beloved, be stout in the Lord, and in the 
power of his might. Put on you his armour ; stand in the liberty 
of Christ which you have learned ; rejoice that you may be counted 
worthy to suffer any thing for God's cause ; to all men this is not 
given. Your reward is great in heaven, though in earth you find 
nothing. The journey is almost past, you are almost in the haven, 
take on apace, I beseech you, and merrily hoist up your sails. 
Cast yourself on Christ, who careth for you. Keep company witli 



334 



him now s.till to the end ; he is faithful and will never leave you, 
nor tempt you, further than he will make you able to bear; yea in 
the midst of the temptation, he will make an outscape. 

Now pray unto him heartily, be thankful of his dignation, 
rejoice in hope of the health you shall receive, and be mindful of us 
who are in the vaward,* and by God's grace trust in Christ to 
be made able to break the ice before you, that you following, may 
find the way more easy. God grant it may be so, Amen, Amen. 
Out of prison, by your brother in Christ, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 95.t 



TO MRS. WILKINSON.^ 

ALMIGHTY God, our most loving Father, increase in your heart, 
my good mother and dear mistress in the Lord, his true knowledge 
and love in Christ, to the encouraging and comforting of your faith 
in these stormy days ; as necessary unto us, so profitable if we 
persist unto the end, which thing God grant unto us, Amen. 

My right dearly beloved, I know not what other thing to write 
unto you, than to desire you to be thankful unto the Lord, in that 
amongst the not many of your calling and state, it pleaseth him to 
give you his rare blessing ; I mean, to keep you from all the filth, 
wherewith our country is horribly defiled. This blessing assuredly 
is rare as you see. But now if he shall bless you with another 
blessing which is more rare, 1 mean, to call you forth as a martyr, 
and as a witness against this filth, I hope you will become doubly 
thankful. 

For a greater token commonly we have not, to judge of our 
election and salvation, next to Christ and faith in him, than the 

* Vanguard. Bailey. t Fox iii. 333. Cov. 3f2. 

j A pious woman who relieved the wants of the reformers. Cranmer advised her 
to fly. Strype Eccl. Mem. iii. pt. i. 226. 



cross, especially when it is so glorious, as on this sort to suffer any 
thing, but chiefly loss of this life, which indeed is never found till it 
be so lost ; except the grain of wheat fall and be dead, it remaineth 
fruitless. 

You know how that he who was rapt into the third heaven, and 
did know what he wrote, doth say, that as the corn liveth not 
except it be dead and cast into the earth, so truly our bodies. And 
therefore the cross should so little alarm us, that even death itself 
should altogether be desired of us ; as the tailor who putteth off our 
rags, and arrayeth us with the royal robes of immortality, incor- 
ruption, and glory. Great shame it should be for us, that all the 
whole creatures of God should desire, yea, groan in their kind for 
our liberty, and we ourselves to lothe it ; as doubtless we do, if for 
the cross, yea, for death itself, we with joy swallow not up all sorrow, 
that might let us from following the Lord's calling, and obeying 
the Lord's providence; whereby doubtless all crosses, and death 
itself, doth come, and not by hap or chance. 

In consideration whereof, right dear mother, in that this pro- 
vidence stretcheth itself so unto us and for us, that even the hairs of 
our heads are numbered with God, not one of them to fall to 
our hurt; surely we declare ourselves very faint in faith, if we 
receive not such comfort, that we can willingly offer ourselves to the 
Lord, and cast our whole care upon his back ; honouring him with 
this honour, that he is and ever will be careful for us, and all 
we have, as for his dear children. Be therefore of good cheer, even 
in the midst of these miseries, be thankful to the Lord, and prepare 
yourself for a further trial ; which if God send you, as I hope, so 
do you believe, that God therein will help and comfort you, and 
make you able to bear whatsoever shall happen. 

And thus much, having this opportunity, I thought good to 
write, praying God our Father to recompense into your bosom, all 
the good that ever you have done, to me especially, and to many 
others, both in this time of trouble, and always heretofore. 

Your own in the Lord, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



336 

No. 96.* 

TO MRS. WILKINSON. 



THE Lord of mercy, in Christ his Son, our Saviour and only 
comforter, be with you all, now and for ever, Amen. 

Although presently I have little time, by reason of this bringer's 
short departing, and less occasion of necessary matter, to write unto 
you ; yet in that it hath pleased God to offer me more liberty to 
write than before I had, as this bearer can report, I thought good to 
signify unto you the same, with the acknowledging of the receipt of 
your tokens ; for the which I neither can nor will go about to flatter 
you with thanks, in that I know you look for none at mine hands, 
God being the cause, and his word the end, wherefore you did so. 
To him I know you would have me thankful, and I beseech you 
pray that L may so be ; and not only thankful for myself and his 
benefits towards me, but also thankful for you, to whom God hath 
given to fear his name and love his truth. The which gifts far pass 
the riches of the world, for they shall perish, and be left we know 
not unto whom ; but the gifts of God, as they last for ever, so they 
make happy the possessors of the same. 

Go to therefore, and pray God to increase them of his goodness ; 
as of his mercy he hath begun them in you, and indeed so he will. 
For to whom he giveth the earnest of willing, to the same he will 
give the grace of continuing, if we reject not the same ; as we do 
when we be double-hearted, and part our fear and love ; as did the 
Samaritans, who feared God, and their Adrammelech ;f loved God's 
religion, and their old country customs, &c. 

If this doubleness come on us, that we fear more the world, and 
couple it with the fear of God ; if we love the muck of this world, 
and couple it with the love of God's religion ; then part we stake, 
then mar we the market, then the spirit of God will depart, then 
play we as Ananias and Sapphira did, and so sooner or later shall 
fall to perdition with them. 

* Cov. 343. t 2 Kings, xvii. 31. 



337 



But, as I said, I think no such thing of you ; I think of you as 
of God's dear children, whose hearts are whole with the Lord. 
And therefore I write not this as though you were such, but because 
it is God's goodness you be not such ; because satan would have you 
such, and because many that were as you now be, are such. There- 
fore to make you, as thankful, so careful to continue, but yet so that 
your care be cast all on the Lord, is the only cause I write this, 
and would write more, but that the bringer cannot tarry. And 
therefore hastily and abruptly I make an end, beseeching Almighty 
God, in our Redeemer Jesus Christ, to be with you, and with his 
Holy Spirit comfort you all, and help my good sister Mrs. W.,* to be 
a happy and a good mother of the child, of which as yet I hear God 
hath not delivered her. By your own to use in the Lord for 
ever. 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 97.t 

TO HIS DEARLY BELOVED IN THE LORD, 
MRS. W. AND MRS. W.$ 

ALMIGHTY God, our dear and most merciful Father, be always 
with you both, my entirely beloved mother and sister in the Lord ; 
and as his babes, may he for ever keep you unto his eternal king- 
dom, through Christ our Saviour, Amen. 

I purpose not to go about, to render thanks to you for God's 
great goodness towards me by you, because 1 cannot. Either of 
you hath so heaped upon me benefits, that it were hard for me 
to reckon the tithes. He for whose sake you have done it, and all 
the good you do, one day recompense you after your heart's desire 
in him. In the mean season, I beseech him to reveal unto you, more 

* No doubt Mrs. Warcup. See Nos. 53 and 58. t Cov. 423. 

J Most probably Mrs. Wilkinson and Mrs. Warcup. 

2x 



338 



and more, the riches of his grace, and love in Christ, by whom ye 
are beloved and were, before the world was, and shall be doubtless 
world without end. 

According to the revelation, and your sense or faith herein, so 
will you contend to all piety and godliness, as St. John saith ; He 
that hath this hope will purify himself as Christ is pure. For how 
should it otherwise be, but if we be certainly persuaded that heaven 
is ours, and we citizens thereof, but, I say, we should desire the 
dissolution of our bodies, and death to dispatch us, and to do his 
office upon us? If we did certainly believe we were members of 
Christ, and God's temples, how should we but fly from all impurity 
and corruption of the world, which cometh by concupiscence? If 
we did certainly believe that God indeed, of his mercy in Christ, is 
become our Father, in that his good will is infinite, and his power 
according thereto, how could we be afraid of man or devil? How 
could we doubt of salvation, or any good thing which might make 
to God's glory, and our own weal ? 

Now that we should be certain and sure of this, that we are 
God's children in Christ, mark whether all things teach us not? 
Behold the creation of this world, and the government* of the same; 
do not these teach us that God loveth us ? And is God's love out 
of Christ the beloved? Is not his love, as he is, unchangeable? 
Doth not St. John say, that he loveth to the end whom he loveth ? 
Therefore, I say, the very creatures of God, concerning both their 
creation and conservation, tell us that God loveth us; that is, that 
we in Christ be his children and dearlings, although in ourselves, 
and of ourselves, we be otherwise; viz. children of wrath. 

Again, look upon the law of God, and tell me whether it doth 
not require this certainty of you, viz. that you be God's dear 
children in Christ ? Doth not God plainly affirm and say, I am the 
Lord thy God ? Doth he not charge you to have none other Gods 
but him? How then can you perish, if God be your God? Doth 
not that make God no God? Doth not David say, that those 
people be happy, who have the Lord for their God ? 

Besides this, look on your belief; do you not profess that you 

* Gubernation. 



339 



believe in God your Father Almighty, who wanteth no power to 
keep you, as he wanted no good will in Christ to choose you ? Do 
you not say that you do believe remission of sins, resurrection of the 
body, life everlasting, fellowship with the saints, &,c. But how do 
you say you believe this gear, and be not certain thereof? Is not 
faith a certainty ? Is not doubting against faith, as St. James saith ? 
Pray in faith and doubt not, for he that doubteth obtaineth nothing. 
When Peter began to doubt, he had like to have been drowned ; 
beware of it therefore. 

Moreover, for to certify your consciences, that you be God's 
children, and shall never finally perish, through God's goodness in 
Christ; behold your Head, your Captain, I mean, Christ Jesus. 
Wherefore came he into this world, but to redeem you ? to marry 
you unto himself? to destroy the works of satan? to save and seek 
that which was lost? Wherefore suffered he so great and bitter 
passions ? was it not to take away your sins ? Wherefore did he 
rise from death? was it not to justify you? Wherefore did he 
ascend into heaven ? was it not to take possession there for you ? 
to lead your captivity captive ? to prepare and make ready all things 
for you? to appear before the Father, always praying for you? If 
these be true, as they be most true, why then stand you in a doubt ? 
Do you not thereby deny Christ? Wherefore were you born of 
Christian parents and in God's Church, but because you were God's 
children by Christ, before you were born? For this cause you 
were baptized, and hitherto the Lord hath thus dealt with you, 
sparing you, correcting you, and blessing you. But why? Verily 
because you be his children, and shall be for ever, through Christ. 

Tell me, why hath God kept you till this time, but that he will 
for his sake have you even here made like unto Christ, that elsewhere 
you may so be ? Why hath he opened your eyes from popery, but 
because you be his children indeed ? When you pray, do you not 
call him Father ? Why do you doubt of it then ? Why will you 
believe the devil more than God your Father, the Son, and the 
Holy Ghost? more than the holy word of God, both in the law and 
in the Gospel? more than all the blessings and castigations of 
God? Do not all these preach to you and tell you, that you are 
God's babes through Christ? Therefore, my dearly beloved, believe 



840 



it, and give not place to the devil, but withstand him strong in 
faith. Say with the poor man ; I believe, Lord, help my unbelief. 
Say with the apostles ; Lord, increase our faith. 

This, mine own hearts in the Lord, I write not that you should 
live more securely and carnally, doing as the spiders do, who gather 
poison where bees gather honey ; but that, as the elect of God, you 
might live in all purity, godliness, and peace ; which God increase 
in us all for his Christ's sake, Amen, 

I pray you heartily, pray for us, that to the very end we may, as 
I hope we shall, go lustily and cheerfully whithersoever our hea- 
venly Father shall bring and lead us. His will, which is always 
good, be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Amen. 

Your brother in bonds, for the testimony of Jesus Christ, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 98.* 

TO HIS GOOD BROTHER, JOHN CARELESS,t 

Prisoner in the King's Bench. 

THE Father of mercy, and God of all comfort, visit us with his 
eternal consolation, according to his great mercies in Jesus Christ, 
our Saviour, Amen. 

My very dear brother, if 1 shall report the truth unto you, I 
cannot but signify that since I came into prison, I never received so 
much consolation as I did by your last letter, the name of God be 
most heartily praised therefore. But if I shall report the truth unto 
you, and as I have began, speak still the verity ; I must confess that 
for mine unthankfulness to youwards and to God especially, I have 

Fox iii. 336. Cov. 373. 

t Another of that illustrious band of Christian heroes, whose lives were sacrificed for 
the truths of the Gospel. Acts and Mon. vol. iii. pp. 713. 732. 



341 



more need of God's merciful tidings, than I ever had heretofore. 
Oh, that satan envieth us so greatly. Oh, that our Lord would 
tread his head under our feet shortly. Oh, that 1 might for ever, 
both myself beware, and be a godly example to you and others, 
to beware of unthankfulness. 

Good brother Careless, we had more need to take heed after a 
lightning, of a foil than before. God therefore is to be praised, even 
when he hideth, and that of long, a cheerful countenance from us ; 
lest we being not expert how to use it as we should do, do hurt more 
ourselves thereby; so great is our ignorance and corruption. This 
my good brother, and right dear to my very heart, I write unto you as 
to one whom in the Lord I embrace, and I thank God that you do 
me in like manner. God our Father more and more give us both 
his good Spirit, that as by faith we may feel ourselves united unto 
him in Christ, so by love we may feel ourselves linked in the same 
Christ one to another, I to you, and you to me, we to all the children 
of God, and all the children of God to us, Amen, Amen. 

Commend me unto your good brother Skelthrop, for whom I 
heartily praise my God, who hath given him to see his truth at the 
length, and to give place to it. 1 doubt not but that he will be so 
needy in all his conversation, that his old acquaintance may even 
thereby think themselves astray. Woe and woe again should be unto 
us, if we by our example should make men to stumble at the truth. 
Forget not salutations in Christ, as you shall think good, to Trew, 
and his fellows. The Lord hath his time, I hope, for them also, 
although we perchance think otherwise.* A drop maketh a stone 
hollow, not with once but with often dropping ; so if with hearty 
prayer for them and good example, you still and drop upon them as 
you can, you shall see God's work at the length. I beseech God to 
make perfect all the good he hath begun in us all, Amen. I desire 
you all to pray for me, the most unworthy prisoner of the Lord. 

Your brother, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



* We have here another evidence of the kind and anxious feeling, our martyr 
entertained for those, who differed from him upon points which he considered of great 
importance. Sue Appendix, Note (M.) 



342 

No. 99.* 

TO THE SAME, 



ALMIGHTY Cod, our dear Father, through and for the merits of 
his dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ, be merciful unto us, pardon us 
our offences, and under the wings of his mercy, protect us from all 
evil, from henceforth and for ever, Amen. 

Dear brother Careless, I heartily pray you, to pray to God for 
me, for the pardon of my manifold sins, and most grievous offences, 
which need none other demonstration unto you than this, viz. that 
I have behaved myself so negligently in answering your godly triple 
letters, which are three witnesses against me. God lay not them, 
nor any other thing to my charge, to condemnation ; though to 
correction, not my will, but his will be done. 

Concerning your request of absolution, my dearest brother, what 
shall I say, but even as truth is, that the Lord of all mercy, and 
Father of all comfort; through the merits and mediation of his dear 
Son, thy only Lord and Saviour, hath clearly remitted and par- 
doned all thy offences, whatsoever they be, that ever hitherto thou 
hast committed against HIS majesty ; and therefore he hath given 
to thee, as to his child, dear brother John Careless, in token that 
thy sins are pardoned ; HE, I say, hath given unto thee, a penitent 
and believing heart, that is, a heart which desireth to repent and 
believe ; for such a one is taken of him, he accepting the will for 
the deed, for a penitent and believing heart indeed. 

Wherefore, my good brother, be merry, glad, and of good 
cheer, for the Lord hath taken away thy sins ; thou shalt not die. 
Go thy ways; the Lord hath put away thy sins. The east is not so 
far from the west, as the Lord hath now put thy sins from thee. 
Look how high the heavens be in comparison of the earth, so 
far hath his mercy prevailed towards thee his dear child, John 
Careless, through Christ the beloved. Say therefore with David, 
Praise the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me praise his holy 

* Fox iii. 718. 



343 

name; for he hath forgiven thec all thy sins; as truly he hath. 
And hereof I desire to be a witness. God make me worthy to hear 
from you the like true message for myself. 

Mine own dearly beloved, you have great cause to thank God 
most heartily, that he hath given you such repentance and faith ; 
the Lord increase the same in you and me, a most miserable wretch, 
whose heart is harder than the adamant stone, or else I could not 
thus long have stayed from writing unto you. If I live and may, I 
purpose and promise you to make amends. Pray for me, my most 
dear brother, I heartily beseech you, and forgive me my long 
silence. God our Father, be with us for ever, Amen.* 

Yours in the Lord, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. lOO.t 

To his dear Brother in the Lord, M. RICHARD HOPKINS, and 

his Wife, dwelling in Coventry, and other his faithful 
Brethren and Sisters, Professors of God's Holy Gospel, 
there and thereabouts. + 

THE peace which Christ left to his Church, and to every true 
member of the same, the Holy Spirit, the guide of God's children; so 
engraft in your heart, and in the heart of your good wife, and of all 
my good brethren and sisters about you ; that unfeignedly ye may 
in respect thereof, contemn all worldly peace, which is contrary to 
that peace that I speak of; and driveth it utterly out of the hearts 
of all those, who would patch them both together. For we cannot 
serve two masters; no man can serve God and mammon; Christ's 
peace cannot be kept with this world's peace. God therefore of his 
mercy do I beseech, to give unto you his peace, which passeth all 

* See Appendix, Note (I. I.) t Cov. 345. 

j This is the same letter, which Dr. Gilbert Ironside published as an original, at the 
end of Bishop Ridley's disputation, &c. 



844 

understanding; and so keep your hearts and minds, that they may be 
pure habitations and mansions for the Holy Spirit, yea for the 
blessed Trinity, who hath promised to come and dwell in all them 
that love Christ, and keep his sayings. 

My dearly beloved, the time is now come wherein trial is made 
of men that have professed to love Christ, and would have been 
counted keepers of his testimonies. But weal away, the tenth 
person persevereth not; the more part do part stakes with the 
papists and protestants, so that they are become mangy mongrels, 
to the infecting of all who company with them, and to their no 
small peril. For they pretend outwardly popery, going to mass 
with the papists, and tarrying with them personally at their anti- 
christian and idolatrous service,* but with their hearts, say they, and 
with their spirits they serve the Lord. And by this means, as they 
save their pigs, I mean their worldly pelf; so they would please the 
protestants, and be counted with them for gospellers, yea marry 
would they. 

But, mine own beloved in the Lord, flee from such persons, as 
from men most perilous and pernicious, both before God and man ; 

* Could it have been believed that British statesmen would ever be found, who 
would cashier and persecute to ruin, exemplary British officers, for conscientiously 
refusing to defile themselves with this autichristian idolatry? No wonder that a go- 
vernment adopting such conduct has been overturned with disgrace ; and may all the 
abettors of such principles share their justly merited fate. No better indeed could 
be expected from those, who during the whole of the Peninsular war, without scru- 
ple attended mass themselves ; but how was it that not a single protestant bishop, 
not a single protestant peer, even of those who were so justly and meritoriously 
opposed to that inefficient, inexpedient, delusive and ruinous measure, the in- 
famous Relief Bill, as it has been falsely called. Nay not even Lord Eldon, though a 
member of the cabinet at the time, did not attempt to throw a shield over those 
persecuted and meritorious officers ! We scarcely need add we allude to the case 
of Capt. Atcheson.f And yet these are the men who, after having overthrown the 
palladium of the Constitution, by conceding political power to the papists ; in order 
to defeat a great public question, or more correctly to repossess themselves of their 
places, and reinstate their friends in the hereditary monopoly of places and pensions ; 
now dare to cry out, the Church, the Church, the Protestant Church is in danger ! 
and these are the men too, with whom certain other individuals, who ought to know 
better, think it right to tamper and enter into a most unhallowed association. 

t See Atcheson's Petition to the late King, and Correspondence with the Duke of 
Wellington. London, 1829. 



345 

for they are false to both, and true to neither. To the magistrates 
they are false, pretending- one thing and meaning- clean contrary. 
To God they are most untrue, giving him but a piece, who should 
have the whole. I would they would tell me, who made their 
bodies ? Did not God, as well as their spirits and souls ? And who 
keepeth both ? Doth not he still ? And alas, shall not he have the 
service of the body, but it must be given to serve the new-found 
God, of antichrist's invention ? Did not Christ buy both our souls, 
and bodies ? And wherewith ? With any less price than with his 
precious blood ? Ah, wretches then that we be, if we will defile 
either part, wkh the rose-coloured whore of Babylon's filthy mass 
abomination. It had been better for us never to have been washed, 
than so to wallow ourselves in the filthy puddle of popery. It had 
been better never to have known the truth, than thus to betray it. 
Surely, surely, let such men fear that their latter end be not worse 
than the beginning. Their own consciences now accuse them 
before God, if so be they have any conscience, that they are but 
dissemblers and hypocrites to God and man. For all the cloaks 
they make, they cannot avoid this, but that their going to church 
and to mass, is of self-love ; that is, they go thither because they 
would avoid the cross. They go thither because they would be out 
of trouble. They seek neither the Queen's Highness, nor her laws, 
which in this point cannot bind the conscience to obey, because they 
are contrary to God's laws, which often bid us to flee idolatry, and 
worshipping him after men's devices. They seek neither, I say, the 
laws, if there were any, neither their brethren's commodity; for none 
cometh thereby, neither godliness or good example, for there can be 
none found in going to mass, &c., but horrible offences and woe to 
them that give them; but they seek their own selves, their own 
ease, their escaping the cross, &c. When they have made all the 
excuses they can, their own consciences will accuse them of this, 
that their going to church is only because they seek themselves. 
For if there would no trouble ensue for tarrying away, I appeal to 
their consciences, would they come thither ? Never, I dare say. 

Therefore, as I said, they seek themselves, they would not carry 
the cross. And hereof their own consciences, if they have any 
do accuse them. Now if their consciences accuse them at this pre- 

2Y 



346 



sent, what will they do before the judgment seat of Christ? Who 
will then excuse it, when Christ shall appear in judgment, and 
shall begin to be ashamed of them there, who now are ashamed 
of him here? Who then, I say, will excuse these mass gospel- 
lers' consciences ? Will the Queen's Highness? She shall then 
have more to do for herself, than without hearty and speedy 
repentance, she can ever be able to answer; though Peter, Paul, 
Mary, James, John the Pope, and all his prelates take her part, 
with all the singing Sir Johns that ever were, are, or shall be. 
Will the Lord Chancellor, and prelates of the realm, excuse them 
there ? Nay, nay, they are like then to smart for it so sore, as I 
would not be in their places for all the whole world. Will the laws 
of the realm, the nobility, gentlemen, justices of peace, &c. excuse 
our gospel massmongers' consciences then ? Nay, God knoweth they 
can do little there but quake and fear for the heavy vengeance of God, 
like to fall upon them. Will their goods, lands, and possessions, 
the which they, by their dissembling have saved, will these serve to 
excuse them ? No, no, God is no merchant, as our mass priests be. 
Will masses, or trentals, or such trash serve ? No, verily, the haunters 
of this gear shall then be horribly ashamed. Will the Catholic Church 
excuse them ? Nay, it will most of all accuse them, as will all the 
good fathers, patriarchs, apostles, prophets, martyrs, confessors, and 
saints, with all the good doctors, and good general councils. 

All these already condemn the mass, and all who ever use it as it 
is now, being of all idols that ever was, the most abominable, and 
blasphemous to Christ and his priesthood, manhood, and sacrifice ;f 
for it maketh the priest that saith mass, God's fellow and better than 
Christ, for the offerer is always better or equivalent to the thing 
offered. If therefore the priest take upon him there to offer up 
Christ, as they boldly affirm they do, then must he needs be better, 
or equal with Christ. Oh that they would shew but one iota of the 
Scripture of God calling them to this dignity, or of their authority 
to offer up Christ for the quick and dead, and to apply the benefit 
and virtue of his death and passion to whom they will. 



'Popery was the masterpiece of satan. I believe him utterly incapable of such 
another contrivance." Cecil's Remains, 175. 



347 



Surely if this were true, as it is most false and blasphemous, prate 
they at their pleasure to the contrary ; then it made no matter at all, 
whether Christ were our friend or no, if so he the mass priest were 
our friend ; for he can apply Christ's merits to us by his mass if he will, 
and when he will, and therefore we need little to care for Christ's 
friendship. They can make him* when they will, and where they 
will. Lo, here he is! there he is! say they! but believe them not 
saith Christ, believe them not, believe them not saith HE. For in his 
human nature and body, which was made of the Virgin's body, and 
not of bread ; in this body^I say, HE IS, and sitteth on the right hand 
of God, the Father Almighty in heaven, from where and not from 
the pix, shall he come to judge both the quick and dead. 

In the mean season, heaven, saith St. Peter, must receive him; 
and as Paul saith, He prayeth for us, and now is not seen elsewhere, 
or otherwise seen, than by faith there; until he shall be seen as he is, 
to the salvation of them that look for his coming, which I trust is 
not far off. For if the day of the Lord drew near, in the apostles' 
time, which is now above fifteen hundred years past, it cannot be, I 
trust, long hence now ; I trust our redeemer's coming is at hand.f 
Then these mass sayers and seers, shall shake and cry to the hills, 
Hide us from the fierce wrath of the Lamb, if they repent not in 
time. 

Then will neither gold, nor goods; friendship nor fellowship; lord- 
ship nor authority, power nor pleasure, unity nor antiquity, custom 
nor council, doctors, devils, nor any man's device serve. The word 
which the Lord hath spoken, in that day shall judge; the word, I 
say, of God in that day shall judge. 

* See Appendix, Note (KK.) 

t And it follows that the great event, is now three hundred years nearer tortseon- 
snmmation. Yet as the apostles foretold, so in these latter times we find infidels and 
scoffers, who tauntingly exclaim, "Where is the promise of his coming? For since 
the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the 
creation." But as the apostle adds, " such are willingly ignorant that by the word 
of God, the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water, and in the 
water. Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished. 
But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, 
reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. IPet. 
iii. 4. T. 



348 

And what saith it of idolatry and idolaters ? saith it not, flee 
from it? and further, that they shall be damned? Oh terrible sen- 
tence to all mass-mongers, and worshippers of things, made with the 
hands of bakers, carpenters, &c.* This Word of God knoweth no 
more oblations or sacrifices for sin, but one only, which Christ him- 
self offered, never more to be re-offered; but in remembrance thereof 
his supper to be eaten sacramentally and spiritually, according to 
Christ's institution ; which is so perverted now that there is nothing 
in it, simply according to the judge, 1 mean the Word of God. It 
were good for men to agree with their adversary, the Word of God, 
now whilst they be in the way with it ; lest if they linger, it will 
deliver them to the judge Christ, who will commit them to the jailor, 
and so they shall be cast into prison, and never come out thence till 
they have paid the uttermost farthing, that is never. 

My dearly beloved, therefore mark the word, hearken to the 
word ; it alloweth no massing, no such sacrificing nor worshipping 
of Christ with tapers, candles, copes, canopies, &c. It alloweth no 
Latin service, no images in the temples, no praying to dead saints, 
no praying for the dead. It alloweth no such dissimulation, as a 
great many use now outwardly. If any withdraw himself, My soul, 
saith the Holy Ghost, shall have no pleasure in him. 

It alloweth not the love of this world, which maketh men many 
times, to act against their consciences ; for in them that love the 
world, the love of God abideth not. It alloweth not gatherers else- 
where than with Christ, but saith they scatter abroad. It alloweth 
no lukewarm gentlemen, but if JEHOVAH be GOD, then follow him ; 
if Baal, and a piece of bread^ be GOD, then follow it, 

It alloweth not faith in the heart, that hath not confession in the 
mouth. It alloweth no disciples who will not deny themselves, 
and who will not take up their cross, and follow Christ. It alloweth 
not the seeking of ourselves, or of our own ease and commodity. It 
ulloweth not the more part but the better part. It alloweth not unity\ 

* See Appendix, Note (CC.) 

+ See the vaunting claim of the See of Rome to be the CENTRE of UNITY tho- 
roughly repudiated and exposed in Bishop Hall's Peace of Rome. London, 1609. 
A most valuable tract, unaccountably omitted by M. Pratt, in his edition of that ex- 
cellent prelate's works. 



349 

except it be in verity. It alloweth no obedience to any, wbicli can- 
not be done without disobedience to God. It alloweth no Church 
that is not the spouse of Christ, and hearkeueth not to his voice 
only. It alloweth no doctor that speaketh against it. It alloweth 
no general council that followeth not in all things. 

Summa,it alloweth no angel, much more then any such, as would 
teach any other thing than Moses, the prophets, Christ Jesus, and 
his apostles have taught and left us to look upon, in the written Word 
of God, the holy books of the Bible; but curseth all that teach, not 
only contrary, but also any other doctrine. It saith they are fools, 
unwise, and proud, who will not consent to the sound word and 
doctrine of Christ, and his apostles ; and biddeth and commandeth 
us to flee from such. 

Therefore obey this commandment, company not with them, 
especially in their church service, but flee from them; for in 
what thing consent they to Christ's doctrine? HE biddeth us 
pray in a tongue to edify; they command contrary. HE biddeth 
us call upon his Father, in his name, when we pray; they 
bid us run to Mary, Peter, &c. HE biddeth us to use his sup- 
per in the remembrance of his death and passion, preaching it out 
till it come, whereby he doth us to wit, that corporally he is not there, 
in the form of bread; therefore, saith Paul, till he come. HE willeth 
us to eat of the bread, calling it bread after consecration; and drink 
of that cup all,* making no exception, so that we do it worthily; 
that is, take it as the sacrament of his body and blood, broken and 
shed for our sins, and not as the body itself, and blood itself, without 
bread, without wine ; but as the sacrament of his body and blood, 
whereby he doth represent, and to our faith give and obsign unto 
us, himself wholly, with all the merits and glory of his body and 
blood. But they utterly forbid the use of the supper, to all but to 
their shavelings, except it be once in the year, and then also the cup 
they take from us ; they never preach forth the Lord's death but in 
mockery and moes. They take away all the sacrament by their 
transubstantiation, for they take away the element, and so the sacra- 

* Bibite ex hoc OMNES! Vuly. Matt. xxvi. 27. 



350 

rnent. To be short, they most horribly abuse this holy ordinance of 
the Lord, by adoration, reservation, oblation, ostentation, &c. 

In nothing are they contented with the simplicity of God's 
word. They add to and take from it at their pleasure, and therefore 
the plagues of God will fall upon them at the length, and upon all 
that will take their part. They seek not Christ, nor his glory, for 
you see they have utterly cast away his word ; and therefore, as the 
prophet saith, there is no wisdom in them. They follow the strnm- 
pet Church, and ba\vdy spouse of Christ, which they call the 
Catholic Church ; whose foundation and pillars, is the devil, and his 
daughter, the mass, with his children, the Pope and his prelates. 
Their laws are craft and cruelty; their weapons are lying and 
murder ; their end and study i* their own glory, fame, wealth, rest, 
and possessions, 

For if a man speak nor do nothing against these, though he be 
a Sodomite, an adulterer, an usurer, &c., it forceth not, he shall be 
quiet enough, no man shall trouble him. But if any one speak any 
thing to God's glory, which cannot stand without the overthrow of 
man's glory; then shall he be disquieted, imprisoned, and troubled, 
except he will play mum, and put his finger upon his mouth, 
although the same be a most quiet and godly man. So that easily 
a man may see, how that they be antichrist's Church, and sworn 
soldiers to the Pope and his spouse, and not to Christ and his 
Church; for then would they not cast away God's word, then would 
they be no more adversaries to his glory, which chiefly consisteth in 
obedience to his word. 

Therefore, my dear hearts in the Lord, seem not to allow this, 
or any part of the pelf of this Romish Church, and synagogue of 
satan. Halt not on both knees, for halting will bring you out of the 
way ; but like valiant champions of the Lord, confess, confess I say, 
with your mouth, as occasion serveth, and as your vocation requireth, 
tshe hope and faith you have and feel in your heart. 

But you will say, that so to do is perilous, you shall by that 
janeans lose your liberty, your lands, your goods, your friends, your 
name, your life, &c., and so shall your children be left in miserable 
state, &c. To this I answer, my good brethren, that you have 



351 

professed in baptism, to fight under the standard of your Captain 
Christ, and will you now, for peril's sake, leave your Lord ? You 
made a solemn vow, that you would forsake the world, and will you 
be forsworn, and run to embrace it now? You swore and promised 
to leave all and follow Christ, and will you now leave him for your 
father, your mother, your children, your lands, your life, &c? He 
that hateth not these, saith Christ, is not worthy of me. He that 
forsaketh not these and himself also, and withall taketh not up his 
cross and followeth him, the same shall be none of his disciples. 

Therefore, either bid Christ adieu, be forsworn, and run to the 
devil quick, or else say, as a Christian should say, that wife, children, 
goods, life, &c. are not to be dear unto you in respect of Christ, who 
is your portion and inheritance. Let the worldlings, who have no 
hope of eternal life, fear perils of loss of lands, goods, life, &c. 
Here is not our home, we are here but pilgrims and strangers ; this 
life is but the desert and wilderness to the land of rest. We look 
for a city, whose \vorkman is God himself. We are now dwellers in 
the tents of Kedar. We are now in warfare, in travail and labour, 
whereto we were born, as the bird to fly. We sorrow and sigh, 
desiring the dissolution of our bodies, and the putting off of cor- 
ruption, that we might put on incorruption. 

The way we walk in is strait and narrow, and therefore not easy 
to our enemy, the corrupt flesh ; but yet we must walk on, for if we 
hearken to our enemy, we shall be served not friendly. Let them 
walk the wide way, who are ruled by their enemies ; let us be ruled 
by our friends, and walk the strait way, whose end is weal, as the 
other is woe. The time of our suffering is but short, as the time of 
their ease is not long; but'the time of our rejoicing shall be endless, 
as the time of their torments shall be ever, and intolerable. Our 
breakfast is sharp, but our supper is sweet. The afflictions of this 
life may not be compared in any part, to the glory that shall be 
revealed unto us. This is certain, if we suffer with Christ, we shall 
reign with him ; if we confess him, he will confess us, and that 
before his Father in heaven, and all his angels and saints, saying, 
Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess the kingdom prepared for 
you from the beginning. There shall be joy, mirth, pleasure, solace, 
melody, and all kind of beatitude and felicity ; such as the eye hath 



352 



not seen, the ear hath not heard, nor the heart of man is able in any 
point to conceive it, as it is. 

In respect of this, and of the joy set before us, should not we 
run our race, though it be something- rough ? Did not Moses so, 
the prophets so, Christ so, the apostles so, the martyrs so, and the 
confessors so? They were drunk with the sweetness of this gear, 
and therefore they contemned all that man or devil could do to 
them. Their souls thirsted after the Lord and his tabernacles, and 
therefore their lives and goods were not too dear to them. Read 
the eleventh chapter to the Hebrews, and 2 Maccabees vii., and let 
us go the same way, that is, by many tribulations. Let us labour to 
enter into the kingdom of heaven ; for all who will live godly in 
Christ Jesu, must suffer persecution. 

Think therefore the cross, if it come for confession of Christ, no 
strange thing to God's children; but rather take it as the Lord's 
medicine, by the which he helpeth our infirmities, and setteth forth 
his glory. Our sins have deserved cross upon cross ; now if God 
give us his cross to suffer for his truth and confessing him, as he 
doth by it bury our sins; so doth he glorify us, making us like to 
Christ here, that we may be like unto him elsewhere. For if we be 
partakers of the affliction, we shall be partakers of the consolation ; 
if we be like in ignominy, we shall be like in glory. Great cause 
we have to give thanks to God, for lending us liberty, lands, 
goods, wife, children, life, &c. thus long ; so that we shall be guilty 
of ingratitude, if he now shall come and take the same away, except 
we be cheerful and content. 

God hath given, and God hath taken away, saith Job, as it 
pleaseth the Lord, so be it done. And should not we do this, 
especially when the Lord taketh these away of love to try us, and 
prove us, whether we be faithful loves or strumpets, that is, whether 
we love him better than his gifts, or otherwise ? This is a truth of 
all truths to be laid up in our hearts, that that is not lost, which 
seemeth so to be for the confession of Christ. In this life your 
children shall find God's plentiful blessing upon them, when you are 
gone, and all your goods taken away. God is so good, that he 
helpeth the young ravens, before they can fly, and feedeth them 
when their dams have most unkindly left them. And trow ye, that 



353 



God who is the God of the widows, and fatherless children, will not 
especially have a care for the babes of his dear saints, who die, or 
lose any thing 1 for conscience to him ? 

Oh, my dearly beloved, look up therefore with the eyes of faith. 
Consider not things present, but rather things to come. Be content 
now to go, whither God shall gird and lead us. Let us now cast 
ourselves wholly into his hands, with our wives, children, and all 
that ever we have. Let us be sure, the hairs of our head are 
numbered, so that one hair shall not perish, without the good will 
of our dear Father, who hath commanded his angels to pitch their 
tents about us ; and in their hands, to take and hold us up, that we 
shall not hurt, so much as our foot, against a stone. 

Let us use earnest prayer; let us heartily repent; let us hearken 
diligently to God's word ; let us keep ourselves pure from all unclean- 
ness, both of spirit and body; let us flee from all evil, and all 
appearance of evil; let us be diligent in our vocation, and in doing 
good to all men, especially to them who be of the household of 
faith; let us live in peace with all men, as much as is in us. And 
the Lord of peace give us his peace, and that for evermore, Amen. 
I pray you remember me, your poor afflicted brother, in your hearty 
prayers to God. This second of September. 

JOHN BRADFORD.* 



No. lOl.t 

TO M. RICHARD HOPKINS^ 

Then Sheriff of Coventry, and Prisoner in the Fleet, for the 
faithful and constant confessing of God's Holy Gospel. 

DEARLY beloved in the Lord, I wish unto you, as unto mine own 
brother, yea, as to mine own heart-root, God's mercy, and the feeling 

* See Appendix, Note (LL.) 
t Fox iii. 340. Cov. 354. J See Appendix, Note (MM.) 



354 

of the same, plentifully in Christ, our sweet Saviour; who gave 
himself a ransom for our sins, and price for our redemption, praised 
therefore be his holy name, for ever and ever, Amen. 

I will not go about to excuse myself, for not sending unto you 
hitherto, suffering for the Lord's sake as you do, to the comfort of 
me, and of all that love you in the truth : but rather accuse myself, 
both before God and you, desiring of you forgiveness, and with me 
to pray to God, for pardon of this my unkind forgetting you; and 
all other my sins, which I beseech the Lord in his mercy to do 
away, for his Christ's sake, Amen. 

Now to make amends to you ward, I would be glad if 1 could, but 
because I cannot, I shall heartily desire you to accept the will, and 
this which I shall now write unto you, thereafter; 1 mean, after my 
will, and not after the deed, to accept and take it. At this present, 
my dear heart in the Lord, you are in a blessed state, although it 
seem otherwise to you, or rather unto your old Adam ; the which I 
dare now be so bold as to discern from you, because you would have 
him not only discerned, but also utterly destroyed. For if God be 
true, then is his word true. Now his word pronounceth of your 
state, that it is happy, therefore it must needs be so. 

To prove this, 1 think it need not; for you know that the Holy 
Ghost saith, that they are happy who suffer for righteousness' sake, 
and that God's glory and Spirit, rest on them who suffer for conscience 
to God. Now this you cannot but know, that this your suffering is 
for righteousness' sake, and for conscience to God wards; for else 
you might be out of trouble, even out of hand. I know in very 
deed, that you have and feel your unthankfulness to God and other 
sins, to witness to you, that you have deserved this imprisonment, 
and lack of liberty betwixt God and yourself ; and I would you so 
would confess unto God in your prayers, with petition for pardon, 
and thanksgiving for his correcting you here. But you know that 
the magistrates do not persecute in you your sins, your unthankful- 
ness, &c.; but they persecute in you Christ himself, his righteousness, 
his verity, and therefore happy be you, who have found such favour 
with God your Father, as to account you worthy to suffer for his 
sake, in the sight of man. Surely you shall rejoice therefore one 
day, with a joy unspeakable, in the sight of man also. 



355 



You may think yourself born in a blessed time, who have found 
this grace with God, to be a vessel of honour to suffer with his saints, 
yea, with his Son. My beloved, God hath not done so with many. 
The apostle saith, Not many noble, not many rich, not many wise 
in the world, hath the Lord God chosen. Oh then, what cause have 
you to rejoice, that amongst the not many, he hath chosen you to be 
one. For this cause hath God placed you in your office, that there- 
fore you might the more see, his special dig-nation and love towards 
you. It had not been so great a thing, for M. Hopkins to have 
suffered, as M. Hopkins ; as it is for M. Hopkins also to suffer, as 
M. Sheriff. Oh, happy day that you were made Sheriff, by the 
which, as God in this world would promote you to a more honourable 
degree ; so by suffering in this room* he hath exalted you in heaven, 
and in the sight of his Church, and children, to a much more 
excellent glory. 

When was it read that a Sheriff of a city hath suffered for the 
Lord's sake ? Where read we of any Sheriff, who hath been cast into 
prison for conscience to God wards? How could God have dealt 
more lovingly with you, than herein he hath done? To the end of 
the world it shall be written for a memorial to your praise, that 
RICHARD HOPKINS, SHERIFF OF COVENTRY, FOR CONSCIENCE TO 
DO HIS OFFICE BEFORE GoD, WAS CAST INTO THE FLEET, AND 
THERE KEPT A PRISONER A LONG TIME. 

Happy, and twice happy are you, if herefore you may give your 
life. Never could you have attained to this promotion, on this sort, 
out of that office. How do you preach now, not only to all men, but 
especially to magistrates in this realm? Who would ever have 
thought, that you should have been the first magistrate, who for 
Christ's sake should have lost any thing ? As I said before therefore, 
I say again, that your state is happy. Good brother, before God I 
write the truth unto you, my conscience bearing me witness, that 
you are in a most happy state with the Lord, and before his 
sight. 

Be thankful therefore, rejoice in your trouble, pray for patience, 
persevere to the end, let patience have her perfect work. If you 

* Fox. Roume. Cov. 



356 



want this wisdom and power, ask it of God, who will give it to you 
in his good time. Hope still in him, yea, if he should slay you, yet 
trust in him withJJob, and you shall perceive that the end will be, 
to find him merciful and full of compassion ; for he will not break 
promise with you, who hitherto did never so with any. 

He is with you in trouble, he heareth you calling upon him ; 
yea, before you call, your desires are not only known, but accepted 
through Christ. If now and then he hide his face from you, it is 
but to provoke your appetite, to make you the more to long for 
him. This is most true, he is coming and will come, he will not 
be long. But if for a time he seem to tarry, yet stand you still, and 
you shall see the wonderful works of the Lord. 

Oh, my beloved, wherefore should you be heavy ? Is not Christ, 
Immanuel, God with us? Shall you not find that as he is true in 
saying, In the world you shall have trouble; so is he in saying, In 
me you shall have comfort ? He doth not swear only that trouble 
will come, but withal lie sweareth that comfort shall ensue. And 
what comfort ? Such a comfort as the eye hath not seen, the ear 
hath not heard, nor the heart of man can conceive. Oh, great 
comfort; who shall have this? Forsooth, they that suffer for the 
Lord. And are not you one of them? Yea, verily are you. Then, 
as 1 said, happy, happy, and happy again are you, my dearly 
beloved in the Lord. You now suffer with the Lord, surely you 
shall be glorified with him. Call upon God therefore now in your 
trouble, and he will hear you ; yea, deliver you in such sort, as most 
shall make both to his and your glory also. And in this calling, 1 
heartily pray you to pray for me, your fellow in affliction. Now we 
be both going in the high way to heaven, for by many afflictions 
must we enter in thither; whither God bring us for his mercy's 
sake, Amen. Amen. 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



357 

No. 



TO HIS GOOD SISTER, MRS. ELIZABETH 
BROWN. 



GOOD sister, God our Father make perfect the good he hath 
begun in you, unto the end. 

I am afraid to write unto you, because you so overcharge yourself 
at all times, even whensoever 1 do but send to you commendations. 
I would be more bold on you, than on many others ; and therefore 
you might suspend so great tokens, till I should write unto you of 
my need ; which thing doubtless I would do, if it urged me. 

Dear sister, I see your unfeigned love to mewards in God, and 
have done of long time; the which I do recompense with the like, 
and will do by God's grace, so long as 1 live ; and therefore I hope 
not to forget you, but in my poor prayers to have you in remem- 
brance, as 1 hope you have me. Otherwise I can do you no service, 
except it be now and then by my writing, to let you from better 
exercise; where yet the end of my writing is to excite and stir up 
your heart more earnestly, to go on forwards in your well-begun 
enterprise. 

For you know none shall be crowned, but such as strive lawfully; 
and none receive the gleve, but those who run to the appointed 
mark. None shall be saved, but such as persist and continue to the 
very end ! Wherefore, dear sister, remember that we have need of 
patience, that when we have done the good will of God, we may 
receive the promise. Patience and perseverance be the proper notes, 
\vhereby God's children are known from counterfeits. They that 
persevere not, were always but hypocrites. Many make godly 
beginnings, yea, their progress seemeth marvellous, but yet, after 
the end, they fail. These were never of us, saith St. John, for if 
they had been of us, they would have continued to the very end. 

Go to therefore, mine own beloved in the Lord; as you have 
well begun, and well gone forward, so well persist and happily end, 

* Fox iii. 341. Cov. 412. 



358 



and then all is yours Though this be sharp and sour, yet it is not 
tedious or long 1 . Do all that ever you do, simply for God, and as to 
God ; so shall never unkindness, nor any other thing, make you to 
leave off from well doing, so long as you may do well. 

Accustom yourself now, to see God continually, that he may be 
all in all unto you. In good things, behold his mercy, and apply it 
unto yourself. In evil things and plagues, behold his judgments ; 
wherethrough learn to fear him. Beware of sin, as the serpent of 
the soul, which spoileth us of all our ornature and seemly apparel, 
in God's sight. Let Christ cruci6ed be your book to study on, and 
that both night and day. Mark your vocation, and be diligent in 
the works thereof; use hearty and earnest prayer, and that in spirit. 
In all things give thanks to God, our Father, through Christ. 
Labour to have here, life everlasting begun in you ; for else it will 
not be elsewhere enjoyed. Set God's judgment often before your 
eyes, that now examining yourself, you may make diligent suit, and 
obtain never to come into judgment. 

Uncover your evils to God, that he may cover them. Beware of 
this antichristian trash, defile not yourself in soul or body therewith ; 
but accomplish holiness in the fear of God, and bear no yoke with 
unbelievers. Look for the coming of the Lord, which is at hand ; 
by earnest prayer, and godly life, hasten it. God, our Father, 
accomplish his good work in you. Amen. 

Commend me to my good mother Mrs. Wilkinson, and to my 
very dear sister Mrs. Warcup. 1 shall daily commend you all to 
God, and I pray you to do the like to me. 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 103.* 
TO THE SAME. 



GOOD Sister, I beseecli God to make perfect the good winch he 
hath begun in you, unto the very end, Amen. 

* Cov. 413. 



359 



This life more and more waxeth unto us, as it should be, that is 
a miserable life, a weeping life, a woful life; and therefore let us 
long for our happy life, our laughing life, our joyful life ; which we 
shall enjoy, and then have in very deed, when we depart by death 
out of this dangerous state wherein we now are, by reason of this 
sinful flesh, which we carry about us. Therefore let us prepare our- 
selves accordingly, and in misery and sorrow, be glad through hope. 

Now we are dispersed, but we shall be gathered together again 
there, where we shall never part, but always be together in joy 
eternal. In hope hereof, let us bear with better will, our bitter bur- 
dens which we feel, and shall feel in this miserable world. We have 
cause to thank God, that maketh this world unto us a wilderness. If 
so be therein we be patient, kiss God's rod, and humble ourselves 
before God ; assuredly we shall come into the most pleasant land of 
rest. 

Wherefore, good sister, as I said, I say again, be merry with 
sorrow, rejoice in hope, be patient in trouble, pray in affliction ; and 
amongst others, I pray you heartily pray for me, that God would 
forgive me my unthankful ness, not only against you, which is great 
indeed ; but also against all his people, and especially against his 
own Majesty. As I can, I shall commend you, unto the tuition of 
our shepherd Christ, who always keep us as his lambs, for his holy 
name's sake, Amen. 

Your afflicted brother, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 104* 

TO A FRIEND, 

Instructing him, how he should answer his Adversaries. 

MY good brother, our merciful God and dear Father through 
Christ, open your eyes effectually to see, and your heart ardently to 

* Fox iii. 342. Cov. 389. 



desire the everlasting joy, which he has prepared for his slaughter 
sheep, that is, for such as shrink not from his truth for any such 
storm's sake, Amen. 

When you shall come before the magistrates, to give an answer 
of the hope which is in you, do it with all reverence and simplicity. 
And because you may be something afraid, by the power of the 
magistrates, and cruelty which they will threaten against you; I 
would have you set before you the good father Moses, to follow his 
example ; for he set the invincible God before his eyes of faith, and 
with them looked upon God, and his glorious majesty and power; 
as with his corporal eyes, he saw Pharaoh and all his fearful terrors. 
So do you, my dearly beloved, let your inward eyes give such light 
unto you, that as you know you are before the magistrates, so and 
much more, you and they al?o are present before the face of God; 
who will give such wisdom to you, fearing him and seeking his 
praise, as the enemies shall wonder at ; and further he will so order 
their hearts and doings, that they shall, will they, nill they, serve 
God's providence towards you; which you cannot avoid though you 
would, as shall be most to his glory and your everlasting comfort. 

Therefore, my good brother, let your whole study be, only to 
please God, put him always before your eyes, for he is on your right 
hand, lest you should be moved ; he is faithful and never will suffer 
you to be tempted, above that he will make you able to bear. Yea, 
every hair of your head he hath numbered, so that one of them shall 
not perish without his good will ; which cannot be but good unto 
you, in that he has become your father through Christ, and therefore 
as he hath given you to believe in him, (God increase his belief in 
us all,) so now doth he graciously give unto you to suffer for his 
name's sake ; the whicli you ought with all thankfulness to receive, 
in that you are made worthy to drink of the self-same cup, which 
not only the very Son of God has drank of before you, but even the 
very natural Son of God himself, hath brought you good luck. Oh, 
may he of his mercy, make us thankful to pledge him again. Amen. 

Because the chiefest matter they will trouble you, and go about 
to deceive you withal, is the sacrament ; not of Christ's body and 
blood, but of the altar as they call it, thereby destroying the sacra- 
ment whicli Christ instituted; I would have you note these two 



361 

things. First, that the sacrament of the altar, which the priest 
offereth in the mass, and eateth privately with himself, is not the 
sacrament of Christ's body and blood, instituted by him; as Christ's 
institution, plainly written and set forth in the Scriptures, being com- 
pared with their using of it, doth plainly declare. 

Again, if they talk with you of Christ's sacrament instituted by 
him, whether it be Christ's body or no, answer them ; that as to the 
eyes of your reason, to your taste, and corporal senses, it is bread 
and wine, and therefore the Scripture calleth it so, after the conse- 
cration,' even so to the eyes, taste, and senses of your faith, which 
ascendeth to the right hand of God in heaven, where Christ sitteth, 
it is in very deed, Christ's body and blood; which spiritually your 
soul feedeth upon to everlasting life, in faith, and by faith, even as 
your body presently feedeth, on the sacramental bread and sacra- 
mental wine. 

By this means, as you shall not allow transubstantiation, nor none 
of their popish opinions; so shall you declare the sacrament to be a 
matter of faith, and not of reason, as the papists make it. For they 
deny God's omnipresence, in that they say, Christ is not there, if 
bread be there; but faith looketh on the omnipotence of God, joined 
with his promise, and doubteth not, but that Christ is able to give 
that which he promiseth us spiritually by faith, the bread still 
remaining in substance, as well as if the substance of bread were 
taken away; for Christ saith not in any place, This is no bread. 

But of this gear, God shall instruct you, if you hang on his 
promise, and pray for the power and wisdom of his Spirit ; which 
undoubtedly as you are bound to look for, praying for it, so he hath 
bound himself by his promise to give it ; the which thing may he 
grant unto us both, and to all his people, for his name's sake, through 
Christ, our Lord, Amen. 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



862 

No. 105.* 

TO CERTAIN GODLY MEN, 

Whom Bradford exhorteth to be patient under the cross, and 
constant in the true doctrine, which they had professed. 



MY dearly beloved in the Lord, as in him I wish you well to fare ; 
so I pray God I and you may continue in his true service, that per- 
petually we may enjoy the same welfare, as here in hope, so in hea- 
ven indeed, and eternally. 

You know this world is not your home, but a pilgrimage and 
place, wherein God trieth his children ; and therefore as it knoweth 
you not, nor can know you; so I trust you know not it; that is, you 
allow it not, nor in any point will seem so to do, although by many, 
you may be occasioned thereto. For this hot sun, which now shineth, 
burneth so sore, that the corn which is sown upon sand and stony 
ground, beginneth to wither ; that is, many who beforetimes we 
took for hearty gospellers, begin now, for the fear of affliction, to 
relent; yea, to turn to their vomit again, thereby declaring, that 
though they go from amongst us, yet were they never of us ; for 
else they would have still tarried with us, and neither for gain nor 
loss, have left us either in word or deed. 

As for their heart, which undoubtedly is double, and therefore 
in danger to God's curse, we have as much with us, as the papists 
have with them, and more too, by their own judgment. For they, 
playing wily, beguile themselves, thinking it enough inwardly to fa- 
vour the truth, though outwardly they curry favour. What though 
with my body, say they, I do this or that, God knoweth my heart is 
whole with him. Ah brother, if thy heart be whole with God, why 
dost thou not confess and declare thyself accordingly, by word and 
fact? Either that which thou sayest thou believest in thy heart, is 
good or no. If it be good, why art thou ashamed of it ? If it be evil, 

* Fox iii. 343. Cov. 419. 



363 

why dost thou keep it in thy heart ? Is not God able to defend thce, 
adventuring thyself for his cause? Or will not he defend his wor- 
shippers? Doth not the Scripture say that the eyes of the Lord are 
on them that fear him, and trust in his mercy? And whereto? 
Forsooth, to deliver their souls from death, and to feed them in the 
time of hunger. 

If this be true, as it is most true, why are we afraid of death, as 
though God, contrary to his promise, could not or would not comfort 
or deliver us? Why are we afraid of the loss of our goods, as though 
God would have them who fear him, destitute of all good things, and 
so do against his most ample promises? Ah, faith, faith, how few feel 
thee now-a-days? Full truly, said Christ, that he should scarcely 
find faith when he came on earth. For if men believed these pro- 
mises, they would never do any thing outwardly, which inwardly 
they disallow. No example of men, how many soever they be, or 
how learned soever they be, can prevail in this behalf; for the pat- 
tern which we must follow is Christ himself, and not the more com- 
pany, or custom.* His WORD is the lantern to lighten our steps, 
and not learned men. Company and custom are to be considered 
according to the thing they allow. Learned men are to be listened 
to, and followed according to God's love and law, for else the more 
part goeth to the devil. As custom causeth error and blindness^ so 
learning^ if it be not according to the light of God's word, is poison, 
and learned men most pernicious. The devil is called demon for his 
cunning, and the children of this world are much wiser than the 
children of light, in their generation ; and I know the devil and his 
dearlingshave always, for the most part, more helps in this life, than 
Christ's Church and her children. 

They, the devil and his synagogue I mean, have custom, multi- 
tude, unity, antiquity, learning, power, riches, honour, dignity, and 
promotions plenty ; as they always have had, and shall have com- 
monly, and for the most part, until Christ's coming; much more 
then the true Church hath presently, heretofore hath had, or here- 
after shall have. For her glory, riches, and honour are not here; her 
trial, cross, and warfare are here. And therefore, my dear hearts in 

* See Appendix, Note (EE.) 



364 



the Lord, consider these things accordingly. Consider what you 
be, not worldlings, but God's children. Consider where you be, not 
at home, but in a strange country. Consider among whom you are 
conversant, even in the midst of your enemies, and of a wicked gene- 
ration ; and then, I trust, you will not much muse at affliction, which 
you cannot be without, being as you be, God's children, in a strange 
country, and in the midst of your enemies ; except you would leave 
your Captain, CHRIST, and follow satan^ for the muck of this mould, 
rest and quietness, which he may promise you ; and you indeed think 
you shall receive it, by doing as he would have you to do, but my 
sweet hearts, he is not able to pay what he promiseth. 

Peace and war come from God, riches, and poverty, wealth and 
woe. The devil hath no power but by God's permission. If then God 
permit him a little on your goods, body, or life, 1 pray you tell me, 
what can much hurt you, as Peter saith, you being followers of god- 
liness? Think you that God will not remember you in his time, as 
most shall be to your comfort? Can a woman forget the child of her 
womb? And if she should, yet will notl forget thee, saith the Lord. 
Look upon Abraham in his exile and misery, look upon Jacob, Jo- 
seph, Moses, David, the prophets, apostles, and all the godly from the 
beginning ; and my good brethren, is not God the same God ? Is he a 
changeling ? You have heard of the patience of God, saith St, James, 
and you have seen the end, how that God is merciful, patient, and 
long suffering ; even so say I unto you, that you shall find accordingly, 
if so be you be patient, that is, if so be you fear him, set his word be- 
fore you, serve him thereafter, and if when he lay his cross on you, you 
bear it with patience ; the which you shall do, when you consider it 
not according to the present sense, but according to the end.* 

Therefore I heartily beseech you, and out of my bonds, which I 
suffer for your sake, pray you, mine own sweet hearts in the Lord ; 
that you would cleave in heart and humble obedience to the doctrine 
taught you by me, and many others of my brethren. For we have 
taught you no fables nor tales of men, or our own fantasies ; but 
the very word of God, which we are ready with our lives, God so 
enabling! us, as we trust he will, to confirm ; and by the shedding 

* Heb. xii. 2 Cor. iv. + Enhabling. 



365 



of our bloods, in all patience and humble obedience to the superior 
powers, to testify and seal up; as well that you might be more cer- 
tain of the doctrine, as that you might be ready to confess the same 
before this wicked world ; knowing that if we confess Christ, and his 
truth before men, he will confess us before his Father in heaven. If 
so be we be ashamed hereof, for loss of life, friends, or goods, he will 
be ashamed of us before his Father, and his holy angels in heaven. 

Therefore, take heed, for the Lord's sake, take heed, take heed, 
and deh'le not your bodies or souls with this Romish and antichris- 
tian religion, set up amongst us again ; but come away, come away, 
as the angel crieth, from amongst them, in their idolatrous service, 
lest you be partakers of their iniquity. 

Hearken to your preachers, as the Thessalonians did to Paul; 
that is, compare* their sayings with the Scriptures; and if they sound 
not thereafter, the morning light shall not shine upon them. Use 
much and hearty prayer for the spirit of wisdom, knowledge, hum- 
bleness, meekness, sobriety, and repentance ; which we have great 
need of, because our sins have thus provoked the Lord's anger 
against us. But let us bear his anger, and acknowledge our faults 
with bitter tears, and sorrowful sighs; and doubtless he will be mer- 
ciful to us, after his wonted mercy. The which thing may he 
vouchsafe to do, for his holy name's sake, in Christ Jesu our Lord ; 
to whom, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be all honour, glory, 
praise, and everlasting thanks, from this time forth, for evermore, 
Amen. 

Out of prison, by yours in the Lord, to command, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



Confer. 



366 

No. 106.* 



TO HIS GOOD BROTHER, AUGUSTINE 
BERNHER.t 



MINE own good Augustine, the Lord of mercy bless you, my 
dear brother, for ever. I have good hope that if you come late at 
night, I shall speak with you, but come as secretly as you can. 
Howbeit, in the mean season, if you can, and as you can, learn 
what M. G.j hath spoken to Dr. Story and others. The cause of all 
this trouble, both to my keeper and me, is thought to come by him . 

It is said that I shall be burned in Smithfield, and that shortly. 
Domini voluntas fiat. Ecce ego, Domine> mitte me. Ah, mine own 
sweet friend, I am now alone, lest I should make you and others 
worse. If I should live, I would more warily use the company of 
God's children, than ever I have done. Irani Domini portabo, 
quoniam peccavi ei. Commend me to my most dear sister, for 
whom my heart bleeds, the Lord comfort her and strengthen her 
unto the end. I think I have taken my leave of her for ever in this 
life, but in eternal life we shall most surely meet, and praise the 
Lord continually. 

I have now taken a more certain answer of death, than ever I 
did ; and yet not so certain as I think I should do. 1 am now as a 
sheep appointed to the slaughter. Ah, my God, the hour is come, 
glorify thy most unworthy child. I have glorified thee, saith this 
my sweet Father, and I will glorify thee, Amen. Ah, mine own 
bowels, praise God for me, and pray for me; for I am his, I hope; 
I hope he will never forsake me, though I have, above all others, 
most deserved it. I am the most singular example of his mercy; 
praised be his name therefore for ever. 



* Fox iii. 348. Cov. 468. 

t See Appendix, Note (NN.) 

Grimbold or Grimoald. See Appendix, p. xlix. 



367 

Cause Mrs. Pierpoint to learn of the Sheriff, M . Chester, what 
they purpose to do with me, and know if you can, whether there be 
any writ forth for me. Factus sum xicut Nycticorax in domicilio^ 
et passer solitarius in lecto. Ah, my Augustine, how long- shall 
God's enemies thus triumph? I have sent you this, of the baptism 
of children, to write out; when this is done, you shall have other 
things. Pray, pray, mine own dear heart, on whom I am bold. 
The keeper telleth me, that it is death for any to speak with me, 
but yet I trust that I shall speak with yon. 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 107.* 
TO HIS OWN GOOD AUGUSTINE. 

DEAR brother Augustine, I cannot but be bold of you in my 
need, and therefore I write as I do. Come hither betimes, I pray 
you, in the morning, and use so to do; for then, I think, you shall 
speak with me. Also use to come late in the evening, and let me 
know, whether in the day time I may send for you. Pray Walsh to 
steal you in, as I hope he will do. If he do bring you in, then shall 
this which followeth, not need ; but doubting the worst, this do 
I write. 

First, will my man William, to make all things, ready for me, 
for I am persuaded 1 shall into Lancashire, there to be burned; 
howbeit, first they say, I must to the Fleet. Then, will him to 
hearken early in the morning, whether I be not conveyed away, 
before men be aware. Also, 1 pray you, will Robert Harrington, 
who I hope will go with me, to look for that journey. Visit often 
my dear sister, and although I cannot now write unto her, as 
I would, for all things are more strange here, and cases more and 
more perilous, yet tell her that I am careful for her ; desire her to 
have good comfort ; God shall give us to meet in his kingdom. In 

* Cov. 470. 



368 



the mean season, I will pray for her, as my dearest sister. Of truth, 
] never did love her half so well as I now do, and yet 1 love her not 
half so well as I would do ; she is the very daughter of Abraham. 

I pray thee heartily, be merry, my good brother, and desire all 
my friends so to be; for, I thank God, I feel a greater benefit than 
all the bishops in England can take from me. Praise God, and 
pray for me, mine own dear heart in the Lord, whom I hope I shall 
never forget. 

Your poor brother in the Lord, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 108.* 

TO HIS GOOD BROTHER, M. COKER, 

At Maldon, in Essex. 



ALTHOUGH I have at present, both little time, and less opportunity 
otherwise, to write as I would ; yet as I may, I thought better to 
write something than utterly to be silent For if I should not so do, 
having so convenient a messenger ; as I might, towards you incur 
the suspicion of ingratitude, and forgetfulness ; so might I not 
satisfy the desire of this my poor brother and friend, John Search- 
field, who cometh unto you for help and comfort, in this troublesome 
time. 

This dare I say, that the man feareth God ; and for God's sake, 
and conscience towards him, sustaineth both loss and labour. For 
our common Father's sake therefore, in Christ, help him to some 
hole, to hide himself in, for a little time, if conveniently you may ; 
and remember that he that receiveth one of Christ's little ones, 
receiveth Christ, as he himself, in the last day, will acknowledge. 
Which last day, let us often look on and set before us, as the thing 
which most maketh to our comfort. 

Cov. 388. 



369 



Now we sorrow and sigh, to see the sea swell and rage on this 
sort, as it doth. And to confess the truth, we have double cause ; 
as well because we have deserved this sour sauce, by reason of our 
unthankfulness and many sins, which the Lord pardon, as because 
God's glory is trodden under foot. But this comfort we have, that 
as God, our good Father, will not the death of a sinner, so will he 
order this gear, most to his glory, and our joy and comfort, if we 
repent now, and heartily lament our evils, use earnest, humble, and 
often, yea, continual prayer ; and cast ourselves wholly on him, and 
his goodness ; still labouring to lothe this life, and longing for the 
life to come. For the which, we should account this, as it is, a very 
vale of misery, much to be mourned in, because the time of our 
habitation herein, and exile, is prolonged. May God grant us his 
Holy Spirit, to strengthen us in his truth professed, that we may 
persevere to the end, in the joyful and courageous confessing of 
his Christ, Amen. I pray you continue, as, 1 trust, you do, to keep 
both soul and body pure in God's service. Strive to enter in at the 
narrow gate, though you leave your lands and goods behind you. 
It is not lost, which for Christ's sake we leave, but lent to a great 
usury. Remember that this time is come but to try us. God make 
us faithful to the end ; God keep us always as his children, Amen. 
I pray you commend me to M. Osburne, and to all our good 
brethren in the Lord. The peace of Christ be with us all, Amen, 
Amen. 

Yours in Christ, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



370 

No. 109.* 

TO HIS OWN GOOD BROTHER, M. JOHN 
PHILPOT 5 t 

Prisoner in the King's Bench. 

MY dear brother, God our Father be praised for the good he 
doth work in you and by you. Even now I have received your 
loving- letters, wherein 1 see cause to bless God for the wisdom, love, 
and efficacy, he hath and doth work, in you, and by you. Go on for 
God's sake to seek unity in Christ. If any will go to work dissem- 
blingly, refuse it not ; either it shall increase his damnation, or occa- 
sion him the sooner to conversion. The dissembling of Judas turned 
to the hurt of himself only. If once we come into an unity and love, 
then shall we not suspect one another, neither take things in the 
worse part. 

Nothing hindereth themj more, than for that now they hear all 
that ever we speak, cum prejudicio, where, if an unity be had, this 
prejudicium will be taken away, and so then shall they see the 
truth, the sooner. Therefore, mine own dearest brother, go on and 
bring it to a good end. God, our Father, be with thee for ever, 
Amen. 

Pray, my good brother, and desire mine own fellow and beloved 
brother, J. Careless, to do the like. I shall pray for you, both in 
ray prayers with others, and with myself alonely, as for my most 
dear brother upon earth. I will not forget, by God's grace, to 
write in the behalf of our brethren in necessity. Jesus Christ, our 
sweet Saviour, be with us all, Emanuel for ever, Amen. 

Your own in the Lord, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 

* Cov. 408. 

f Another of the Martyrs. Fox iii. 538610. He was son of Sir Peter Philpot, 
educated at Winchester School, and afterwards Archdeacon of Winchester; and 
boldly maintained the Reformation, in the Convocation held in Queen Mary's Reign. 
Strype Eccl. Mem. iii. 1. 436. 438. 

J He meaneth here certain free-will men. Cov. $ See Nos. 98. 99. 



371 

No. 110.* 

TO CERTAIN GODLY MEN, 

Relievers and Helpers of Bradford and others, in their 
imprisonment. 

THE peace of Christ, which passeth all pleasure and worldly 
felicity, be daily more and more felt in your hearts, my right dearly 
beloved in the Lord, by the inward working 1 of the Holy Spirit, the 
earnest of our inheritance, and guider of God's elect; with the 
which, may God, our dear Father, more and more endue us all unto 
the end, for his beloved Son's sake, our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen. 

Praised be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is a 
Father of mercy, and a God of all consolation; who hath blessed you 
with the knowledge and love of his truth, not only to your own 
comforts; but also the great ease and comfort of many, who without 
the help of God, by you hitherto, had been in much more misery. 
By your relieving the Lord's prisoners, 1 am brought to see the root 
whereof the work doth spring, even the knowledge and love of 
God's truth, wherefore we are in bonds. The which knowledge and 
love, in that it is a blessing of all blessings the greatest, for it is 
even eternal life, John xvii. ; I cannot but praise God for you on this 
behalf, that it hath pleased him to vouch you, worthy so excellent 
and singular a benefit; which is more to be esteemed, desired, and 
cared for, than any thing else. 

The world, for all that ever it hath, cannot attain by any means 
to this blessing, which God, our Father, hath given you freely of 
his own good will through Christ, even before ye were purposed to 
desire it. Therefore 1 beseech you all to be thankful with me, and 
to rejoice in the Lord. For if he have given us such a gift unasked, 
undesired, yea, unthought upon ; how can it be that he will deny 
us any good thing now, which may be necessary for us ? Will he, 
trow ye, sow his seed in the ground of your hearts, and not keep 

* Cov. 460. 



372 



away the fowls from picking it up ? Would he so bestow his seed in 
you as he hath, if that he would not hedge in your hearts, his field, 
from common paths, and from breaking in of beasts to destroy it ? 
Will he be more careless than a good husbandman to weed out the 
weeds which are in us, lest they should overgrow the corn of his 
word ? Will not he bestow muck and marl upon us, that we may 
bring forth more fruit? If in a good husbandman this be not 
lacking, alas, how should we think then, but that the Lord God, a 
good husbandman, and nothing but good, and only good ; how, I 
say, should it be, but that he is most careful to keep his seed, already 
sown in your hearts, by the ministry of us and other his preachers; 
and that to the bringing forth of just and full fruits ? He that hath 
begun with you, will happily make an end with you. He hath be- 
gan to sow his seed in you, as I dare say you feel it. Be sure 
then that all this will follow; first, he will have scarecrows in 
your hearts ; I mean, such sparkles of his fear will he drop, yea, 
already he hath dropped into you, that the birds of the air, vain 
and evil cogitations, shall not be cherished of you, but expelled, by 
crying to the Lord for his help. Secondly, he will make such 
hedges, as shall keep you, as well from by-paths of all evil customs 
and usages; as also preserve you from the power of evil and dominion 
of sin, which would have the upper hand of you. Thirdly, he will 
doubtless pour such showers upon you, to supply you, so weed you, 
so muck and marl you by temptation and other exercises, that the 
sunshine of persecution shall make more to the ripening of his seed 
in you, than to the withering of it away. 

These things, my dearly beloved, the Lord God, who hath begun 
them in you and for you, will continue with you ; that in the end 
you may be brought into his barn, there to rest with him in eternal 
felicity. For God's sake, therefore, wait and look for no less than I 
have told you at his hands ; a greater service can you not give him. 
If God keep not the order I have told you, but perchance begin to 
muck and marl you, to pour his showers upon you ; to nip you with 
his weeding tongs, &c.; rejoice and be glad, that God will do that in 
you and with you at once, which a long time he hath been working 
in and for others. Now undoubtedly great showers are fallen, to 
supply our hearts, that [God's word might enter therein and take 



373 

root. Now the Lord goeth a weeding, to weed out of us our carnality, 
security, covetousness, self-love, forgetfulness of God, and love of this 
world. Now the Lord doth muck and marl us, loading 1 us with heaps 
and burdens of crosses, that our hearts might be made good ground, 
to bring forth fruit to God's glory by patience; as well in suffering 
inward temptations and griefs, whereof we must complain to the 
Lord, for his scarecrows to drive them forth of us, as also in suffering 
outward assaults ; for the which we must cry to our master, for his 
hedges and defence, which hath avo parts; the one concerning us, 
to help and deliver us ; and the other concerning our, or rather his, 
obstinate adversaries, to take vengeance upon them, which he will 
do in his time. 

Therefore let us by patience possess our souls, knowing that they 
who persevere to the end, shall be saved. Let us not be weary of 
well-doing, for in our time we shall reap the fruits thereof. But 
rather, while we have time, let us redeem it in doing well to all men, 
but especially to the household ot faith ; which thing hereto you have 
done, the Lord therefore be praised, and in the days of his coming 
may he recompence you ; and in the rest I hope well ; 1 mean that you 
have declared no less, in confessing the truth planted in your hearts, 
by your words and works, after your vocation, to the glory of God. 

1 hope you have godly behaved yourselves, not being as too many 
be now-a-days, even mongrels, giving half to God, and half to the 
world ; halting on both knees, going two ways ; 1 mean it of the 
mass-gospellers, who are worse than any papists. In this point I 
hope well of you, rny dearly beloved, that you have not contaminated 
yourselves ; that you have both confessed the truth as oft as need 
hath required, and also have refrained from coming to church now, 
where is nothing but idolatrous service. I hope you have glorified 
God, both in soul and body. I hope you have gathered with Christ, 
and not scattered abroad. I hope you have drawn no yoke with 
unbelievers, nor communicated with other men's sins, but have ab- 
stained from all appearance of evil ; confessing in heart, confessing 
in tongue, confessing indeed and act, the true knowledge of God, 
which he hath of his great mercy given unto you; not to be as a 
candle under a bushel, but upon the candlestick, to give light that 
men may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in 



374 



heaven. All this I hope of you, my beloved, and also of all purity 
of life and godly conversation ; not doubting, but in this behalf also, 
you have declared God's verity in your heart, and for the Lord's 
sake do so still, in all points ; that is, in your vocations be diligent 
and righteous, towards yourselves be sober and pure, towards your 
neighbours be charitable and just, towards God be faithful and 
thankful, loving and obedient. 

Use earnest and often hearty prayer. Meditate much upon, 
and often hearken to, the Word of God. If you be called, give 
with modesty an account of the hope which is in you. Be 
not ashamed of God's true service, allow not that with your 
presence, which is contrary to God's will. Make not the mem- 
bers of Christ's Church, that is yourselves, members of antichrist's 
church. Be not ashamed of the gospel, or of such as be bound 
therefore, but rather be partakers thereof; first inwardly, by com- 
passion, prayer, &c. ; then outwardly, by giving, according to that 
the Lord hath lent you to that end; and last of all, by suffering 
with us if God so will, and if it be needful for yon. For, my 
dearly beloved, be certain that no man can touch you, or lay hands 
upon you, but by the will of God, who is all good towards you ; 
even as the will of a most dear father, who cannot always be angry, 
or otherwise use his rod, than only to chastise and correct, not to 
destroy his children. 

Again, be certain that no cross shall come unto you before you 
need it. For God is our physician, and when he seeth our souls in 
peril, he preventeth the peril by purgation, and ministering physic, 
which is the cross. As therefore for the body, we follow the advice 
of physicians for the health thereof, thankfully using their counsel 
and following their precepts ; so for God's sake, let us for our souls, 
being sick, thankfully receive the heavenly physician's physic and 
diet; so shall we wax strong men in God, and in his Christ; which 
thing I beseech thee, O Holy Spirit, to work in us all, Amen. 

My dearly beloved, this have I briefly written unto you, not as 
one that seeketh any gifts, as Paul saith ; but as one that seeketh 
abundant fruits on your behalf, and to your commodity. For it is 
better to give than to receive, saith Christ, by his apostle St. Paul ; 
who testifieth, That according to that we sow, so shall we reap. He 



375 

that sovveth little, shall reap little; he that soweth much, shall reap 
much. Never should we forget, how that the Lord Jesus, being rich, 
for our sakes became poor, that we might be made rich by him. 
Again, never should we forget that we are dead to sin and alive to 
righteousness. Therefore should we live wholly unto God and for 
God, and not for ourselves. In all things, therefore, we must avoid 
the seeking of ourselves, as well in doing, as in leaving things un- 
done. If the cross come upon us, therefore, then are we happy, for 
the Spirit of God, and glory of God, resteth upon us. Therefore 
rejoice, saith Christ, for your reward is great in heaven. In this 
we are made like to Christ here ; therefore, we shall be so elsewhere, 
even in eternal joy and endless glory. 

The highway to heaven, you know, is affliction ; so that all that 
will live godly in Christ Jesus, must suffer persecution. If we were 
of the world, the world would love us; but we are not of the world, 
but bear witness against the world, and therefore the world doth hate 
us. But let us rejoice, our Lord hath overcome the world. He suf- 
icred out of the city, bearing our rebuke, saith the apostle. Let us 
then go out of our tents, and bear his rebuke; that is, let us deny 
ourselves, take up our cross, which is his also, and follow him. Let 
us know and esteem this more riches than all the treasures of the 
world, as Moses did. Let us know, that he that saveth his life shall 
lose it. Let us know, that the way to salvation is a straight way, 
and a way wherein we cannot carry our bags and chests with us. 
Let us know, that no excuse of wife, farm, house, or child, will ex- 
cuse us. Let us know, that in this case we must be so far from 
loving father, mother, wife, and children, that we must hate them, 
and our own selves also. 

Though this be a hard saying, yet we must not leave our 
loads-man for a little foul way. Yea, rather we should know 
indeed, that it is but hard to the flesh, which, if she be handled 
daintily, will be imperious; under must she be kept, that the 
spirit, which is a precious thing in God's sight, may have her 
commodities. If we should follow the fancy of the flesh, w~ could 
not please God. Against it we have made a solemn profession, 
as also against the devil and the world in our baptism. And 
shall we now look for easy things of our enemies ? Shall we 



376 



not look rather to be hardly entreated of them ? O that we 
considered often and indeed, what we have professetl in baptism: 
then the cross and we should be well acquainted together. For we 
are baptized into Christ's death; that is, as to be partakers of the 
benefit of his death, which is remission of sins; so to be made like 
thereunto continually, by dying to sin. O that we considered what 
we be ; where we be ; whither we are going ; who calleth us ; how 
he calleth us ; to what felicity he calleth us; whereby he calleth us; 
then, my dear hearts in the Lord, we should say to all worldly 
persuasions and persuaders ; follow me, satan, thou savourest not 
those things that be of God, but the things that be of men. Shall 
we not drink the cup which our heavenly Father hath appointed for 
us ? O Lord God, open thou our eyes, that we may see the hope 
whereunto thou hast called us. Give us eyes of seeing, ears of 
hearing, and hearts of understanding. In the favour thou bearest 
to thy people, remember us ; visit us with thy saving health, that 
we may see the good things thou hast prepared for thy elect 
children ; that we may have some sight of thy heavenly Jerusalem, 
and have some taste of the sweetness of thy house. O, dear Father, 
kindle in us an earnest desire to be with thee in soul and body, to 
praise thy name for ever, with all thy saints, in thy eternal glory, 
Amen, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. lll.t 

To one, by whom Bradford had received much comfort and 
relief, in his trouble and imprisonment. 

THE mercy of God in Christ, peculiar to his children, be ever 
more felt of you, my dearly beloved in the Lord, Amen. When I 
consider with myself, the benefits which God hath shewed unto me 
by your means, if I had so good and thankful a heart as 1 would I 

* Fox iii. 346. Cov. 456. 



377 

had, I could not with dry eyes give him thanks; for certainly they 
are very many and great. And now being yet still the Lord's 
prisoner, J receive from him more benefits by you. For the which 
I think myself so much bound to you, my good brother, although 
you were but the instrument, by whom God wrought and blessed 
me, that I look not to come out of your debt, by any pleasure or 
service that I shall ever be able to do you in this life. 1 shall heartily 
pray unto God therefore, to requite you the good you have done to 
me for his sake; for I know that which you have done, you have 
done it simply in respect of God and his word. May he therefore 
give you daily more and more to be confirmed in his truth and word, 
and so plentifully pour upon you the riches of his Holy Spirit, and 
heavenly treasures laid up in store for you; that your corporal and 
earthly riches, may be used of you as sacraments and significations 
thereof: the more to desire the one, that is the heavenly, and the 
less to esteem the other, that is the earthly. 

For satan's solicitation is, to set before you the earthly, that 
therein and thereby you should not have access to the consideration 
of the heavenly ; but as one bewitched, should utterly forget them, 
and altogether become a lover and worshipper of the earthly 
mammon ; and so fall to covetousness and a desire to be rich, 
by that means to bring you into many noisome and hurtful lusts. 
As now-a-days I hear of many, who have utterly forsaken God 
and all his heavenly riches, for antichrist's pleasures and the 
preserving of their worldly pelf, which they imagine to leave to 
their posterity ; whereof they are uncertain, as they may be most 
certain they leave to them God's wrath and vengeance, in his 
time to be sent by visitation ; if they, in time, heartily repent 
not, and prevent not the same by earnest prayer. Wherein, my 
good brother, if you be diligent, hearty, and persevere, I am sure 
God will preserve you from evil, and from yielding yourself to 
do as the world now doth; by allowing in bodily fact, in the 
Romish service, that which the inward cogitation and mind doth 
disallow. But if you be cold in prayer, and come into considera- 
tion of earthly and present things simply, then shall you fall into 
faithless follies, and wounding of your conscience; from which God 
evermore preserve you, with your good wife and your babe, Leonard, 

3c 



378 



and all your family : to the which I wish the blessing of God now 
and for ever, through Christ our Lord, Amen. 

I pray you give thanks for me to your old bedfellow, for his 
great friendship, for yoar sake shewed to me, when I was in the 
Tower. 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



No. 112.* 

TO A FAITHFUL AND DEAR FRIEND, 

Treating of Rom. viii. 19. 

GRACE and peace, with increase of all godliness in Christ, I wish 
unto you, my dearly beloved. 

Because this morning I had some knowledge, more than before 
I had, how that my life stood in great danger; and that even this 
week, so far as men might, both by the doings and sayings of such 
as be in authority, attempted and spoken concerning me, judge and 
perceive ; I thought good, my right dearly beloved in the Lord, to 
go about something which might be on my behalf, as it were, 
cygnea cantio, a swan's song;f and towards you, both a monument 
of the kind of my love, and also a help, or at the least, an occasion 
for you to profit in that, which, I bear you record, you most desire ; 
I mean, everlasting life and the state thereof. And this will I 
attempt, upon the last talk we had betwixt us, when you were here 
with me. I know you have not forgotten, that we talked together 
of the place of St. Paul to the Romans, chap, viii., concerning the 
groanings of the Creature, and his desire of the revelation of the 
children of God. You demand whether this word creature was to 
be understood of man, or no ; and [ told you, that though some did 
take creature there for man, because there is no kind of creature 

* Cov. 478. 

t That is, which might be a special comfort to him, being then ready to be burned ; 
as the swan's song is sweetest, a little before his death. Cov. 



379 

which may not be acknowledged in man; yet, said I, the text itself, 
considered with that which the apostle writeth of Christ, Eph. i. 
Col. i. the Restorer and Reformer of all things that be both in 
heaven and m earth; and with the argument, which Saint Paul 
presently hath in hand there, doth enforce a godly mind to take 
every creature there, as also St. Chrysostom and St. Ambrose do, 
for the whole world, and every creature, both heavenly and earthly. 
All things, I told you, were made for man, and according to man's 
state so are they. When man was without sin, and in God's favour, 
there was no malediction, curse, or corruption. But when man, by 
sin, was cast out of favour, then was the earth cursed. For the 
wickedness of the inhabitants, fruitful hinds are turned into salt 
ground; as for their piety, barren countries are made fruitful, 
Ps. cvii. The angels themselves do rejoice over one sinner that 
repenteth ; thereby giving us notice, that in their kind they lament 
over the impenitent. In reading the prophets, you may see how 
all things do depend of man. When they prophesy any great 
blessing or plague to come to God's people, they do communicate 
the same both to heaven and earth, and to every thing else. As for 
example, when the prophets do foreshew the overthrows of realms 
and peoples, how do they say the whole shape of the world shall 
be moved thereat? Look upon Isaiah, how he, when he prophe- 
sieth the fall of Babylon, doth say, that the stars shall not shine 
from heaven ; the sun shall he darkened in his rising; the moon 
shall not give her light. And afterwards he saith, I will shake the 
heavens, and the earth shall be moved out of his place, Isaiah 
xiii. But the histories do witness, that there are wonderful changes 
of all creatures, both heavenly and earthly, in the overthrows and 
destructions of realms and people. 

Again, when Isaiah doth prophesy of the kingdom of Christ, he 
doth promise new heavens and a new earth, and that so excellent and 
new, that he sheweth the former heavens and earth to be utterly 
forgotten, Isaiah Ixiii. ; whereto the apostle agreeth, making Christ 
the repairer of all things in heaven and in earth, Eph. i. Col. i. 
How did both heaven and earth give their service to the Israelites 
coming forth of Egypt, as well in preserving them, as in destroying 
their enemies? How did the sun shine longer than it was wont to 



380 

do, for Joshua to overcome his enemies? How did the very angels 
fight for Hezekiah, ag-ainst the Assyrians? Read the 30th chapter 
of Isaiah. And behold the history of Christ; how the angels were 
ministers unto him in the wilderness; how the devils confessed 
him. In his death, how did all the whole world shew compassion ? 
The sun was darkened; the earth did quake; the rocks clave 
asunder; the veil of the Temple rent asunder. When he arose, 
both heaven (for the angels with great heavenly brightness appeared) 
and earth, which was moved, did rejoice: the angels were preachers 
of it. In his ascension also, did not a bright cloud receive him and 
take him up ? Did not the angels testify of his return ? When he 
sent the Holy Ghost, and made his new covenant of grace, did not all 
the whole world serve thereto, by thunder, smoke, fire, and earthquake ? 
Now how wonderfully they will do their service to Christ coming 
to judgment, is more plain than I need to rehearse. And inasmuch 
as we are the members of Christ, he being our Head, we may soon 
see how that all things have a certain compassion with man, and do 
after their kind, as the apostle writeth, look for a deliverance from 
vanity, which they shall obtain in their restoration. 

I therefore told you, how that I do take the apostle to mean, by 
every creature simply, even all the whole shape and creatures in the 
world. He doth attribute unto them, how that they look for the 
perfection of our salvation; how that they are subject to vanity; how 
that they are subject in hope; how that they groan and travail; at- 
tributing these things unto the senseless creature, by translation from 
man, to signify the society, cognation, and consent, which all and 
every creature hath with man; that as every and all things were 
made for man ; so by the man Christ, all and every thing both earthly 
and heavenly shall be restored. 

These things you know in effect, I spake unto you, to stir 
up both myself and you, to a deeper consideration of our blessed 
state, which ROW we enjoy in hope, which will never deceive 
us; the more to occasion us to desire the full fruition of the same. 
But I do remember that you were something troubled, about some 
doubtfulness hereabout. Therefore I purpose now to write of this 
matter more at large, thereby to occasion us both to see better, through 
the help of God's Spirit, that which we desire; and I pray God grant 



381 



unto us both, for his mercy's sake; I mean the felicity of his children, 
and the happy state which, one day in very deed, my dear heart, we 
shall fully possess, and both together praise the Lord with all his 
saints, world without end. Amen, Amen. 

This was your doubt ; if so be that St. Paul did mean- by all 
creatures simply, as I have spoken, that they shall be delivered from 
corruption, into such a state as shall adorn the freedom of God's 
children; whether that plants, beasts, and other things having life, 
shall be restored. If yea, then yon would know whether all things 
that have been shall be restored also. And after this, you will per- 
chance ask in what place they shall be, what they shall do, and so 
forth. As I think upon this matter, and as 1 am accustomed to 
answer such questions coming to me, I will here write for an answer 
unto you also; not doubting but that therewith you will be satisfied, 
because I know your heart is satisfied, with godly and sufficient 
answers. Thus I think; all and every creature groaneth and tra- 
vaileth as yet hoping and looking for my restoration, for they be 
subject to corruption for my sins' sake; but they all shall be delivered 
by my Christ from the bondage of corruption, then when he shall 
restore us his members. This will I muse on and weigh with my- 
self, that I may duly know, both in me and in all other things, the 
atrocity and bitterness of sin which dwelleth in me; and so may the 
more heartily give over myself wholly to the Lord Christ, my 
Saviour; that he may, with what cross soever shall please him, slay sin 
in me, and bring me after his own will and way, to newness of life. 
Whereunto, that I for my part, may faithfully and with all my whole 
heart do my diligence in mortifying the desires of my flesh, and in 
labouring to obey the desires of the spirit, to live a life acceptable to 
him, I beseech him of his grace. And that I may do this chearfully, 
and continue in this purpose and diligence, I will fasten my mind, 
as much as the Lord shall enable me, to consider this my so great 
happiness, whereunto I shall be restored in the resurrection; the 
which resurrection, doubtless shall be adorned by the whole shape 
of the world, delivered from corruption. These things will I think 
on, these things will I pause on; herein will I, as it were, drown 
myself, being careless of this ; I mean, what parts of the world the 
Lord Christ will restore with me, or how he will do it, or what state 
or condition he will give it. 



382 

It is enough and enough for me, that I, and all the whole 
world with me, shall be much more happy than now I can hy any 
means conceive. By reason hereof 1 will praise and glorify my 
Lord, and by his grace I will study to please him with all my heart, 
with all my soul, with all my strength, singing unto him, that he 
both doth well, and hath done and made all things well; to him be 
eternal glory for ever. This is my cogitation in this matter, and not 
mine only, but the cogitation of one who* was my father in the 
Lord ; and now, 1 am assured, with the Lord at home, where we yet 
are from home, by reason of this our corruptible habitacles,f wherein 
we abide the Lord'* leisure. 

If you would know the reason that moveth me, to answer as I 
have done to the aforesaid doubts or questions, it is this. You see 
that the apostle in this place to the Romans, speaketh of the deliver- 
ance of every creature from the bondage of corruption, and that to 
the beautifying of the glory of God's children. This is so manifest, 
that no man can well deny it. It is but a simple shift to say that the 
apostle doth mean in this place by every creature, man only. He is 
not wont to speak on that sort. Neither dare I say that the apostle 
speaketh here hyperbolically or excessively, although some think so. 
But as I said, I say again, that the apostle doth here simply affirm, 
that there shall be a renovation and a deliverance from corruption, 
not only of man, but also of all and of every part of the whole world ; 
of every part, 1 say, meaning parts in deed, and not such as be rather 
vices, and added for plagues, than for parts. For by reason of sin, 
many spots and corruptions are come into the world, as is all that is 
hurtful and filthy in the creatures. Also, all that cometh of corrup- 
tion, as perchance fleas, vermin, and such like. 

This renovation of all things, the prophets do seem to promise, 
when they promise new heavens and new earth ; for a new earth 
seemeth to require no less renovation of earthly things, than new 
heavens do of heavenly things. But these things the apostle doth 
plainly affirm, that Christ will restore, even whatsoever be in heaven 
and in earth, Col. i. Therefore methinks it is the duty of a godly 
mind, simply to acknowledge, and thereof to brag in the Lord, that 

* He meaneth that most godly, and learned father, M. Martin Buccr. Cm. 
+ Dwelling place?. 



in our resurrection, all things shall be so repaired to eternity, as 
for our sins they were made subject to corruption. 

The ancient writers, out of Peter, have, as it were, agreed to 
this sentence ; that the shape of this world shall pass away through 
the burning of earthly fire, as it was drowned with the flowing of 
earthly waters. These be St. Augustine's words.* Whereto I will 
add these which he there writeth ; The qualities (saith he) of the 
corruptible elements, which agreed with our corruptible bodies, 
shall utterly be burned, with that same worldly conflagration and 
burning as I said ; but the substance itself shall have those qualities, 
which do agree by a marvellous change to our bodies, that the world 
changing into the better, may openly be made meet to man, returned 
even in the flesh into the better. These be his words, whereby it is 
plain, that this good man did believe that the elements should be 
renewed ; but of other things he meddleth not, except it be of the 
sea, by the occasion of that which is in the Apocalypse; howbeit,so 
he speaketh, that he cannot well tell whether it also shall be changed 
into the better, adding these words; But we read that there shall be 
a new heaven and a new earth. For he did understand the place 
of Isaiah, concerning the new heaven and new earth simply; of 
other things he expresseth nothing. 

But Thomas Aquinas entreateth this question more exactly, or 
rather curiously, affirming the celestial bodies, the elements, and 
mankind to be renewed; but in no wise, beasts, plants, &c. to be so ; 
and this is his principal reason. The renovation of the world 
shall be for man ; therefore such shall be the renovation, as shall be 
conformable to the renovation of man. But the renovation of man 
shall be from corruption to incorruption ; from moving to rest ; the 
things therefore that shall be renewed with man, must be brought 
also to incorruption. Now, the celestial bodies and the elements 
were made to incorruption ; the one wholly and in every part, the 
other, that is the elements, though in part they are corruptible, yet 
concerning the whole, they are incorruptible, as man is incorruptible 
concerning part, that is, the soul. But beasts, plants, &c. are cor- 
ruptible, both wholly and in every part; therefore they were not 

* De civit. Dei. 



384 



made to incorruption, and so are they not conformable to the 
renewing, that is, they are not receivable of incorruption, and there- 
fore they shall not be restored. 

This reason is true in this part, that it affirmeth things shall be 
restored with man, and with him shall be brought to perpetuity, 
and as the apostle saith, to be delivered from the bondage of 
corruption. Again, his reason is true herein also, that man's reason 
may sooner be persuaded, that things now partly incorruptible, shall 
be restored altogether to incorruption. But now to say, that by no 
reason, those things may be brought to perpetuity, which now both 
wholly and partly be temporal and momentary, how can he prove 
it? in that the nature and being of all things dependeth on the 
omnipotency of God, who, after his own pleasure, doth give to 
things which he hath made, their being ; and all is one to him, to 
make a thing temporal, and to make it eternal. For he made all 
things of nothing ; and therefore heaven and the celestial bodies 
have no more of themselves that they be perpetual, than have those 
things that last but a day ; wherefore, this reason which Thomas 
maketh is not firm, in that it wholly leaneth to that which now 
seemeth and appeareth in things. Indeed, as I said, it hath some 
shew or probability, that these things shall be renewed to eternity 
for the glory of God's children, which are now something partakers 
of the same. But now, seeing that both it which they now have, 
and also shall have, dependeth upon the beck and pleasure of God, 
whom hath God made of counsel with him, concerning the renovation 
of the world and of all things, that he can tell what parts of things, 
and what kinds of things he will renew ? Yea, even Aristotle did 
acknowledge that physics or natural knowledge, because it bringeth 
its reasons from the disposition and nature of things, hath not full 
necessity of its reasons. For nature is nothing else, than the ordi- 
nary and wonted will of God; as a miracle, portent, or monster, is the 
rare and unwonted will of God. We say that the nature of stone, 
and all heavy things, is to sink downward; which is nothing else 
but the pleasure of God, so depelling them and putting them down; 
for else of themselves nothing is either heavy or light, all is alike to 
be carried downwards or upwards. Who may make God subject to 
his work? Can not he that made all things of nothing, give here- 



385 

after to the things that he hath made, that whereof now in them- 
selves they have no capacity? 

These things I do therefore rehearse, to the end I might declare; 
that when we dispute what God will do concerning his works, how 
that it is not seemly for us to conclude, according to that which 
seemeth and appeareth to us in things, but rather as godliness 
requireth, to refer all things to the will of God. This will, if it be 
expressed in Holy Scripture, then may we simply determine, that 
which we read expressed there. But if it be not so, then ought we 
freely to confess our ignorance, and not prescribe to God, what he 
ought to do of his works, by that which already he hath done. God 
is of power infinite, and of nothing did he not only make all things, 
but also will do what pleaseth him, both in heaven and in earth, 
saith David. 

The aforesaid Thomas bringeth forth also other reasons ; but 
which he himself counteth not for invincible. One is: if beasts 
and plants shall be restored, either all or some shall be restored. If 
all shall be restored, then must the resurrection be communicate 
unto them, that the same in number be restored, which is not 
convenient. If some shall be restored, there appeareth no reason 
why these should be restored more than other ; therefore, saith he, 
they shall not be restored. But here what would he answer, if one 
should ask him, how he knotveth it is not convenient; that either all 
in number be restored, as man shall arise, either only some, in that this 
thing wholly resteth, in the hand and will of God ? Another reason 
he maketh out of Aristotle, and out of a ground which is uncertain. 
Aristotle affirmeth the perpetuity of things, to hang on the continual 
moving of heaven. Thomas now hereto gathereth thus; But the 
moving of heaven shall cease ; therefore he concludeth that in these 
inferior things, no perpetuity may be looked for. But here, what 
answer will he make, if a man shall say that all things hang at the 
beck and pleasure of God ; who now, for the conservation of his 
creatures, which now arise and spring, and now die and fall <fown ; 
useth the moving of heaven, and can afterwards not use it for this 
purpose ? This is a truth, that all things of themselves are nothing ; 
much more then can they not do any thing. Now, men may 
conjecture that the moving of heaven shall cease; but yet, by the 

3D 



386 



certain Word of God, they cannot prove it. In like manner is his 
last reason, which he maketh of the end of beasts and plants; but 
which end he knoweth not. Beasts and plants, saith he, were made 
for the sustentation of the mutual life of man ; but this life shall 
cease, therefore shall they also. But here hath he no answer, if a 
man should demand, Who knoweth whether God have made them, 
to no other end or use ? 

Seeing, therefore, these things be as you see, I suppose it not to 
pertain to a godly man, to deny the beasts and plants to be 
restored; in that the apostle doth here expressly say, that every 
creature which is now subject to vanity, shall be delivered from the 
bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of 
God. In that the Holy Ghost doth affirm this of every creature, 
by what reason dare a godly mind, exempt any part from this 
deliverance to come ? Howbeit, neither will the godly mind contend, 
whether every creature shall be renewed. For the Holy Ghost 
spake of the creature generally, and not particularly ; and therefore 
we may not otherwise affirm, because we must not speak, but God's 
word. Therefore it is the part of a godly man, and of one that 
hangeth in all things upon the word of God, to learn out of this 
place ; that whatsoever corruption, death, or grief, he seeth in any 
thing, wheresoever it be, that, I say, he ascribe it wholly unto his sins, 
and thereby provoke himself to true repentance. Now as soon as that 
repentance compelleth him to go to Christ, let him think thus; but 
this my Saviour, and my Head Jesus Christ, did for my sins; and 
therewith, as he took away death, so hath he taken away all the 
corruption and labour of all things ; and will restore them in his 
time, whithersoever they be, in heaven or in earth. Now every 
creature travaileth and groaneth with us; but we being restored, 
they also shall be restored. There shall be new heavens, new earth, 
and all things new. 

Thus I wish that our minds might stay, in this generality of the 
renovation of the world ; and not curiously to search what parts of 
the world shall be restored, and what shall not; or how all things 
shall be restored ; much more then I would not have us curious, nor 
inquisitive of their place, where they shall be ; of their action, what 
they shall do ; or of their properties, and such like. For if, to have 



387 

foreknown these thing's, would have made much to godliness, 
surely the Holy Ghost would most plainly have told them. For 
according to Christ's promise, he bringeth us into all truth; all 
truth, 1 say, such as the knowledge of would profit us. 

All the Scripture is given to us for this purpose, that the man 
of God might be made perfect, and instructed to all good works; 
and truly that can be no good work, which we do, except God teach 
us the same. He hath prepared the good works wherein we walk, 
Eph. ii. But the certain and bottomless fountain of these good 
works is, in all things to hang on the beck and pleasure of God ; 
and through our Lord Jesus Christ, to look for, with remission of 
sins, life everlasting, and the glory of the resurrection. To the end, 
therefore, that we may more fully know our sins, and more make of 
our redemption from them by Christ ; let us set before our eyes, death, 
the hire of sin ; and that not only in ourselves, but also in every crea- 
ture of the world. Howbeit, this let us do, with a hope of so am- 
ple a restoration, and never enough to be marvelled at ; which shall 
be even in all things for our renovation, by the Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Renewer of all things whatsoever be, in heaven or in earth. 

He that with true faith weigheth and considereth these things, 
will be, as it were, swallowed up in the admiration of so exceeding 
great benevolence and love of God, our heavenly Father; that he 
can never admit to yield to this curiosity, of searching what kinds 
of things shall be renewed, and how they shall be renewed; or 
what state or condition they shall be in, when they are renewed. 

These be things of the life to come, whereof this foreknowledge 
is sufficient ; that all these things shall be more perfect and happy, 
than the reach of reason is able to look upon the glory of them. 
For the eye hath not seen, nor the ear heard, nor it cannot ascend 
into man's heart, that God hath prepared for them that love him. 
For concerning our resurrection, what other thing do we know 
beforehand, but that we shall be most happy ? Even so, therefore, 
let us not doubt, but that there shall be a deliverance of the creature 
from the servitude of corruption. And let us consider these things 
so, that we may wholly bend ourselves, to put away all the oldness 
of our flesh, whence indeed corruption and death do come ; and that 
we may provoke ourselves, to the newness of the spirit, and the life 



388 



of Christ, wherein is all incorruption, and the true taste of the 
resurrection ; for to this end the Holy Ghost did write this by the 
apostle. That therefore this spirit might lead us hereunto, let 
us pray; and then we shall understand this place of Paul with 
profit. 

If perchance it will move you, that the apostle speaketh not of this 
deliverance of the creature from corruption, in any other place but 
here, neither any other holy writer ; I would you would think, that 
the misery of the restoration of Israel, also of antichrist, is not ex- 
pounded but in the apostle's writings, and that but in one place; yea, 
the manner of our resurrection is not written but in two places. 
\Ve ought to know, that they are the words of the Lord, whatsoever 
the apostle hath left to us written. Again the simplicity of this place, 
Rom. viii. 19, is plain. 

And thus, my dearly beloved, I have written to you so much as 
1 think is sufficient about this matter ; and therefore need not to 
tarry here any longer, or to spend any more time, about the answer- 
ing of that which is but curiosity. 

God our Father give us now his Holy Spirit, to lead us into this 
and all other necessary truth, in such sort, that we may have a lively 
feeling of eternal life begun in us; that we may become first new, 
and so look for a new heaven and a new earth, wherein righteousness 
dwelleth; which God impute to us, and begin in us, for his Christ's 
sake. Amen, Amen. 

Your own for ever in the Lord, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



389 
No. 113.* 

An Exhortation, to the patient suffering of trouble and 
afflictions for Christ's cause, written by Bradford, to all 
the unfeigned Professors of the Gospel, throughout the 
Realm of England, at the beginning of his imprisonment, 
and here placed as it were to our hands. 

THE Holy Spirit of God, which is the earnest and pledge of God, 
given to his people for their comfort and consolation ; be poured 
into our hearts, by the mighty power and merits of our alone 
Saviour, Jesus Christ, now and for ever, Amen. 

Because I perceive plainly, that to the evils fallen upon us, who 
profess Christ's Gospel, greater are most like to ensue ; and after 
them greater, till the measure of iniquity be up-heaped, except we 
shrink, and having put our hands to the plough, do look back, and 
so with Lot's wife and the Israelites, desiring to return into Egypt, 
fall into God's heavy displeasure incurably, all which God forbid ; 
and because 1 am persuaded of you, my dearly beloved brethren 
and sisters, throughout the Realm of England, who have professed 
unfeignedly the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, for 
unto such do I write this epistle ; that as ye have began to take 
part with God's Gospel and truth, so, through his grace, ye will 
persevere and go on forwards, notwithstanding the storms risen 
and to arise ; I cannot but write something unto you, heartily to go 
on forwards in the way of the Lord, and not to become faint-hearted 
or fearful, whose place Saint John appointeth with the unbelievers, 
murderers, and idolaters, in eternal perdition; but cheerfully to 
take the Lord's cup, and drink of it, afore it draw towards the 
dregs and bottom, whereof at the length they shall drink, with 
the wicked, to eternal destruction, who will not receive it at the 
first with God's children; with whom God beginneth his judgment, 
that as the wicked world rejoiceth when they lament, so they may 

* Cov. 427. 



390 



rejoice when the wicked world shall mourn, and without end find 
woe intolerable. 

First therefore, my dearly beloved in the world, I beseech you 
to consider, that though ye be in the world, yet ye are not of the 
world. Ye are not of them, who look for their portion in this life, 
whose captain is the god of this world, even satan ; who now ruffleth 
it apace, as he were wood, because his time on earth is not long. 

But ye are of them, that look for a city of God's own blessing. 
Ye are of them, that know yourselves to be here hut pilgrims and 
strangers; for here ye have no dwelling place. Ye are of them, 
whose portion is the Lord, and who have their hope in heaven ; 
whose Captain is Christ Jesus, the Son of God, and Governor of 
heaven and earth. Unto him is given all power, yea, he is God 
Almighty, with the Father, and the Holy Ghost, praiseworthy for 
ever. 

Ye are not of them, who receive the beast's mark, who here 
rejoice, laugh, and have their hearts' ease, joy, paradise, and 
pleasure ; but ye are of them, who have received the angel's mark, 
yea, God's mark; who here lament, mourn, sigh, sob, weep, and 
have your wilderness to wander in, your purgatory, and even hell, 
to purge and burn up your sins. Ye are not of them, who cry, Let 
us eat and drink, for to-morrow we shall die. Ye are not of that 
number, who say, They have made a covenant with death and hell, 
for hurting of them. Ye are not of them, who take it for a vain 
thing to serve the Lord. Ye are not of them, who are lulled and 
rocked asleep in Jezebel's bed, a bed of security. Ye are not of the 
number of them, who say, Tush, God is in heaven, and seeth us not, 
nor much passeth what we do. Ye are not of the number of them, 
who will fall down, for the muck of this world, to worship the 
fiend ; or for displeasing of men, to worship the golden image. 
Finally, ye are not of the number of them, who set more by your 
pigs than by Christ; who, for ease and rest in this life, will say and 
do, as ANTIOCHUS biddeth you do or say ; and will follow the 
multitude to do evil, with Zedekiah, and the three hundred false 
prophets, yea, Ahab, Jezebel, and the whole court and country. 

But ye are of the number of them, who are dead already, or at 
least, be dying daily to yourselves and to this world. Ye are of 



391 



them, who have made a covenant with God, to forsake yourselves in 
this world and satan also. Ye are of them, who say, Nay, the 
Lord hath all things written in his memorial book, for such as fear 
him and remember his name. Ye are of them, who have their 
loins girded about, and their lig-hts burning- in their hands, like 
unto men that wait for their Lord's coming. Ye are of the number 
of them who say, The Lord looketh down from heaven, and 
beholdeth the children of men ; from the habitation of his dwelling, 
he considereth all them that dwell upon the earth. 

Ye are of the number of them, who will worship the only Lord 
God, and will not worship the works of man's hands, though the 
oven burn never so hot. Ye are of the number of them, to whom 
Christ is precious and dear, who cry out, rather because your 
habitation is prolonged here, as David did. Ye are of them, who 
follow Mattathias and the godly Jews ; who know the way to life 
to be a strait way, and few to go through it ; who will not flock 
to follow poor Micaiah, although he be racked and cast into prison, 
having the sun, moon, seven stars, and all against him. 

Thus therefore, dearly beloved, remember first, that, as I said, ye 
are not of this world ; that satan is not your captain; your joy and 
paradise is not here ; your companions are not the multitude of 
worldlings, and such as seek to please men, and live here at ease in 
the service of satan. But ye are of another world ; Christ is your 
Captain ; your joy is in heaven, where your conversation is; your 
companions are the fathers, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, 
virgins, confessors, and the dear saints of God ; who follow the 
lamb whithersoever he goeth, dipping their garments in his blood, 
knowing this life and world to be full of evil; a warfare, a smoke, a 
shadow, a vapour ; and as replenished, so environed with all kind 
of miseries. This is the first thing, which I would have you often 
and diligently with yourselves to consider, and to muse well upon ; 
namely, what ye be, and where ye be. 

Now, secondly, forget not to call to mind, that ye ought not to 
think it any strange thing, if misery, trouble, adversity, persecution, 
and displeasure, come upon you. For how can it otherwise be, but 
that trouble and persecution must come upon you ? Can the world 
love you, who are none of his? Can worldly men regard you, 



392 



who are your chief enemy's soldiers ? Can satan suffer you to 
be in rest, who will do no homage unto him ? Can this way be 
chosen of any, that make it so narrow and straight as they do? 
Will ye look to travel, and to have no foul way or rain ? Will 
shipmen shrink, or sailors on the sea give over, if storms arise? Do 
they not look for such ? And, dearly beloved, did we not enter into 
God's ship and ark of baptism at the first? Will ye then count it 
strange, if perils come or tempests blow ? Are not ye travelling to 
your heavenly City of Jerusalem, where all is joy and felicity; and 
will ye now tarry by the way for storms or showers ? The mart and 
fair will then be past; the night will so come upon you, that ye 
cannot travel ; the door will be sparred, and the bride will be at 
supper. Therefore, away with dainty niceness. Do ye think the 
Father of Heaven will deal more gently with you in this age, 
than he hath done with others, his dearest friends, in other ages? 
What way, yea, what storms and tempests, what troubles and 
disquietness found Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and good 
Joseph ? Which of these had so fair a life and restful times as 
we have had? Moses, Aaron, Samuel, David the King, and all 
the good kings, priests, and prophets, in the Old Testament, at one 
time or other, (if not throughout their lives) did feel a thousand 
parts more misery than we have felt hitherto. 

As for the New Testament, Lord God, how great was the 
affliction of Mary, of Joseph, of Zachariah, of Elizabeth, of John 
Baptist, of all the apostles and evangelists, yea, of Jesus Christ our 
Lord, the dear Son and Darling of God ? And since the time of the 
apostles, how many and great are the number of martyrs, confessors, 
and such as have suffered the shedding of their blood in this life, 
rather than they would be stayed in their journey, or lodge in 
any of satan's inns ; lest the stones or winds which fell in their 
travellings, might have touched them ? And, dearly beloved, let 
us think what we are, and how far unmeet to be matched with 
these, with whom yet we look to be placed in heaven. 

But with what face can we look for this, who are so fearful, 
unwilling, and backward to leave that which, will we, nill we, we 
must leave ; and that so shortly, as we know not the time when ? 
Where is our abrenouncing and forsaking of the world, and the 



393 



flesh, which we solemnly took upon us in baptism ? Ah, shameless 
cowards that we he, who will not follow the trace of so many fathers, 
patriarchs, kings, priests, prophets, apostles, evangelists, and saints 
of God, yea, even of the very Son of God. 

How many now go with you lustily, as I and all your brethren 
in bonds and exile for the Gospel. Pray for us, for, God willing, 
we will not leave you now; we will go before you. Ye shall see in 
us, by God's grace, that we preached no lies nor tales of tubs, but 
even the very true word of God ; for the confirmation whereof, we, 
by God's grace and the help of your prayers, will willingly and 
joyfully give our blood to be shed, as already we have given our 
livings, goods, friends, and natural country ; for now are we certain* 
that we be in the highway to heaven's bliss; as Saint Paul saith, 
By many tribulations and persecutions, we must enter into God's 
kingdom. And because we would go thither ourselves, and bring you 
thither also, therefore the devil stirreth up the coals. And for- 
asmuch as we all loitered in the way, he hath therefore received 
power of God to overcast the weather, and to stir up storms; that 
we, God's children, might more speedily go on forwards, and make 
more haste; as the counterfeits and hypocrites will tarry and linger 
till the storm be past, and so when they come, the market will be 
done, and the doors sparred, as it is to be feared. 

Read Matthew xxv. This wind will blow God's children for* 
wards, and the devil's darlings backward. Therefore, like God's 
children, let us go on forward apace ; the wind is on our backs ; 
hoist up the sails ; lift up your hearts and hands to God in prayer, 
and keep your anchor of faith, to cast out ifi time of trouble, on the 
rock of God's word and mercy in Christ, by the cable of God's verity, 
and I warrant you. And thus much for you, secondly, to consider; 
that affliction, persecution, and trouble, is no strange thing to 
God's children, and therefore it should not dismay, discourage, or 
discomfort us; for it is none other thing, than all God's dear friends 
have tasted, in their journey to heavenwards. 

As I would, in this troublesome time, that ye would consider 
what ye be, by the goodness of God in Christ, even citizens of heaven ; 
though ye be presently in the flesh, even in a strange region, on 
every side full of fierce enemies; and what weather and way, the 

3 E 



394 



dearest friends of God have found; even so would I have you, 
thirdly, to consider for your further comfort, that if ye shrink not, 
but go on forwards, pressing to the mark appointed, all the power 
of your enemies shall not overcome you, nor in any point hurt you. 

But this must not you consider, according to the judgment of 
reason, and the sense of old Adam; but according to the judgment 
of God's word, and the experience of faith and the new man, for 
else you mar all. For to reason, and to the experience of our sense, 
or of the outward man, we poor souls who stick to God's word, 
to serve him as he requireth only ; are counted to be vanquished 
and to be overcome, in that we are cast into prison, lose our livings, 
friends, goods, country, and life also at the length, concerning this 
world. 

But, dearly beloved, God's word teacheth otherwise, and faith 
feeleth accordingly. Is it not written, Who shall >separate us from 
the love of God? Shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, 
either hunger, either nakedness, either peril, either sword? As it is 
written, For thy sake are we killed all the day long, and are counted 
as sheep for the slaughter, appointed to be slain. Nevertheless, in 
all these things we overcome, through him that loved us. For I am 
sure, that neither death, neither life, neither angels nor rule; neither 
power, neither things present, neither things to come, neither 
high nor low, neither any creature ; shall be able to part us from 
that love, wherewith God loved us in Christ Jesus our Lord. Thus 
spake one who was in affliction, as 1 am, for the Lord's Gospel's 
sake, his holy name be praised therefore ; and may he grant me grace 
with the same, to continue in like suffering unto the end. This, I 
say, one spake, who was in affliction for the Gospel ; but yet so far 
from being overcome, that he rejoiced rather of the victory which 
the Gospel had. For though he was bound, yet the Gospel was not 
bound. And therefore giveth he thanks unto God, who always 
giveth the victory in Christ ; and openeth the savour of his know- 
ledge by us, and such as suffer for his truth ; although they shut us 
up never so much, and drive us never so far out of our own natural 
country in every place. 

The world, for a time, may deceive itself, thinking it hath the 
victory; but yet the end will try the contrary. Did not Cain think 



395 



he had the victory, when Abel was slain ? But how say you now ? 
Is it not found otherwise? Thought not the old world, and men 
then living, that they were wise and well, and Noah a fool, who 
would creep into an ark, leaving his house, lands, and posses- 
sions? for I think he was in an honest state for the world ; but, 1 
pray you, who was wise when the flood came? Abraham, 1 trow, 
was counted a fool to leave his own country and friends, kyth and 
kin, because of God's word; but, dearly beloved, we know it 
proved otherwise. 

I will leave all the patriarchs, and come to Moses, and the 
Children of Israel. Tell me, were not they thought to be overcome 
and stark mad, when for fear of Pharaoh, at God's word, they 
ran into the Red Sea ? Did not Pharaoh and the Egyptians, 
think themselves sure of the victory? But, I trow, it proved 
clean contrary. Saul was thought well, and David in an evil case 
and most miserable, because he had no hole to hide him in ; but 
yet, at the length, Saul's misery was seen, and David's felicity 
began to appear. 

The prophet Micaiah being cast into prison, for telling A hah the 
truth, was thought to be overcome of Zedekiah and the other false 
prophets : but, my good brethren and sisters, the holy history telleth 
otherwise. Who did not think the prophets unhappy in their time? 
For they were slain, imprisoned, laughed to scorn, and jested at of 
every man. And so were all the apostles, yea, the dearly beloved 
friend of God ; than whom, among the children of women, none 
arose greater; I mean John Baptist, who was beheaded, and that 
in prison, even for a dancing damsel's desire. As all these to the 
judgment of reason, were then counted heretics, runagates, un- 
learned, fools, fishers, publicans, &c. ; so now unhappy and overcome 
indeed, if God's Word and Faith did not shew the contrary. 

But what speak I of these ? Look upon Jesus Christ, to whom 
we must be like fashioned here, if we will be like him elsewhere. 
How say ye, was not he taken for a most fool, a seditious person, a 
new fellow, an heretic, and one overcome of every body? Yea, 
even forsaken both of God and men. But the end told them and 
telleth us another tale ; for now is he in majesty and glory unspeak- 
able. When he was led to Pilate, or Herod, or when he was in 



396 



prison in Caiaphas's house, did not there reason think that he was 
overcome? When he was beaten, buffeted, scourged, crowned with 
thorns, hanged upon the cross, and utterly left of all his disciples ; 
taunted of the high priests and holy fathers, cursed of the commons, 
railed on of the magistrates, and laughed to scorn of the lewd hea- 
then ; would not a man then have thought, that he had been out of 
the way, and his disciples fools, to follow him and believe him? 

Think ye that whilst he did lie in his grave, men did not point 
with their fingers, when they saw any that had followed and loved 
him, or believed in him and his doctrine, saying: Where is their 
master and teacher now? What, is he gone? Forsooth, if they had 
not been fools, they might well have known, that this learning he 
taught, could not long continue. Our doctors and Pharisees are no 
fools, now they may see. On this sort either men spake, or might 
have spoken, against all such as loved Christ or his doctrine ; but 
yet at the length, they and all such were proved fools and wicked 
wretches. For our Saviour arose, maugre their beards, and published 
his Gospel plentifully, spite of their heads, and the heads of all the 
wicked world, with the great powers of the same ; always overcoming, 
and then most of all, when he and his doctrine were thought to have 
the greatest fall. As now, dearly beloved, the wicked world 
rejoiceth ; the papists are puffed up against poor Christ and his peo- 
ple, after their old kind ; now cry they out, Where are these new 
found preachers ? Are they not in the Tower, Marshalsea, Fleet, 
and beyond the seas ? Who would have thought that our old bishops, 
doctors, and deans were fools, as they would have made us to believe ; 
and indeed have persuaded some already, who are not of the wisest, 
especially if they come not home again, to the Holy Church ? 

These and such like words they have, to cast in our teeth, as 
triumphers and conquerors. But, dearly beloved, short is their joy, 
they beguile themselves. 

This is but a lightning before their death. As God after hp had 
given the Jews a time to repent, visited them by Vespasian and 
Titus, most horribly to their utter subversion, delivering first all his 
people from among them ; even so, my dear brethren, will he do 
with this age. When he hath tried his children from amongst them, 
as now he beginneth, and by suffering hath made us look to his 



397 



Christ; and by being overcome, to overcome indeed to our eternal 
comfort; then will he, if not otherwise, come himself in the clouds, 
I mean our dear Lord whom we confess, preach, and believe on : he 
will come, I say, with the blast of a trump and shout of an archangel' 
and so shall we be caught up in the clouds to meet him in the air; 
the angels gathering together the wicked wretches, who now wel- 
ter and wallow as the world and wind blow, to be tied in bundles 
and cast into the fire, which burneth for ever most painfully. There 
and then shall they see who hath the victory, they, or we, when they 
shall see us afar oft" in Abraham's bosom; then will they say, 'Oh, 
we thought these folks fools, and had them in derision ; we thought 
their life madness, and their end to be without honour ; but look how 
they are counted among the children of God, and their portion is 
with the saints. Oh, we have gone amiss, and would not hearken.' 
Such words as these shall the wicked say one day in hell ; whereas 
now they triumph as conquerors. And thus much for you, thirdly, 
to look often upon ; namely, that whatsoever is done unto you, yea, 
even very death itself, shall not dash or hurt you no more than it 
did Abel, David, Daniel, John Baptist, Jesus Christ our Lord, 
with other the dear saints of God, who suffered for his name's sake. 

Let not reason, therefore, be judge in this matter, nor present 
sense, but faith and God's Word, as I have shewed. In the which, 
if we set before our eyes the shortness of this present time wherein 
we suffer, and consider the eternity to come ; as our enemies and per- 
secutors shall be in intolerable pains helpless, and we, if we persevere 
to the end, in such felicity and joys dangerless, as the very heart of 
man, in no point is able to conceive ; if we consider this, I say, we 
cannot but even contemn, and set nothing by, the sorrows and 
griefs of the cross, and lustily go through thick and thin with good 
courage. 

Thus have I declared unto you three things, necessary to be^mused 
on of every one, who will abide by Christ and his gospel in this 
troublesome time, as 1 trust you all will ; namely, first to consider 
that we are not of this world, nor of the number of the worldlings or 
retainers to satan ; that we are not at home in our own country ; but 
of another world, of the congregation of the saints, and retainers to 
Christ; although in a region replete and full of untractable enemies. 



398 



Secondly, that we may not think it a strange tiling to be persecuted 
for God's Gospel, from the which the dearest friends of God were in 
no age free; as indeed it is impossible that they should any long 
time be, their eneniies being always about them, to destroy them if 
they could. And, thirdly, that the assaults of our enemies, be they 
never so many and fierce, in no point shall be able to prevail against 
our faith, albeit to reason it seerneth otherwise. Wherethrough we 
ought to conceive a good courage and comfort; for who will be 
afraid, when he knoweth the enemies cannot prevail? 

Now will I for the more encouraging you to the cross, give you 
a further memorandum; namely, of the commodities and profits 
which come by the trouble and afflictions, now risen and to arise to 
us, who be God's children elect, through Jesus Christ. But here 
look not to have a rehearsal of all the commodities which come by 
the cross, to such as are exercised well therein, for that were more 
than 1 can do. I will only speak of a few, thereby to occasion you 
to gather, and at the length to feel and perceive more. 

First, in that there is no cross which cometh upon any of us, with- 
out the counsel of our heavenly Father ; for as for the fancy of for- 
tune it is wicked, as many places of the Scripture do teach, we must 
needs, to the commendation of God's justice, for in all his doings he is 
just, acknowledge in ourselves that we have deserved at the hands 
of our heavenly Father, this his cross or rod fallen upon us. We 
have deserved it, if not by our unthankfulness, slothfulness, negli- 
gence, intemperance, uncleanness, and other sins committed often by 
us, whereof our consciences can and will accuse us, if we call them 
to counsel, with the examination of our former life, yet at least by 
our original and birth sin; as by doubting of the greatness of God's 
anger and mercy, by self love, concupiscence, and such like sins ; 
which as we brought them with us into this world, so do the same 
alway abide in us, and even as a spring, do always bring something 
forth in act with us, notwithstanding the continual fight of God's 
Spirit in us against it. 

The first commodity, therefore, that the cross bringeth, is know- 
ledge, and that double, of God and of ourselves. Of God, that he is 
just, pure, and hateth sin. Of ourselves, that we are born in sin, 
aud are, from top to toe, defiled with concupiscence and corruption, 



399 



out of the which have sprung, all the evils that ever at any time we 
have spoken and done. The greatest and most special whereof, by 
the cross, we are occasioned to call to mind; as did the brethren of 
Joseph their evil fact against him, when the cross once came upon 
them. And so by it we come to the first step to get health for our 
souls, that is, we are driven to know our sins original and actual, 
by God's justice, declared in the cross. 

Secondly, the end whereof God declareth his judgment against 
our sin, original and actual; and would, by his cross, have us to con- 
sider the same, and to call to mind our former evil deeds; the end 
hereof, I say, is this ; that we might lament, be sorry, sigh, and 
pray for pardon 5 that so doing, we might obtain the same, by the 
means of faith, in the merits of Jesus Christ his dear Son. And 
further, we being humbled because of the evil that dwelleth in us, 
might become thankful for God's goodness and love, in continual 
watching and wariness to suppress the evil which lieth in us, that it 
bring not forth fruits to death at any time. This second commodity 
of the cross, therefore, must we not count to be a simple knowledge 
only, but a great gain of God's mercy; with wonderful rich and 
precious virtues of faith, repentance, remission of sins, humility, 
thankfulness, mortification, and diligence in doing good. Not that 
properly the cross worketh these things of itself, but because the 
cross is the mean and way, by the which God worketh the knowledge 
and feeling of these things in his children; as many, both testi- 
monies and examples in Scripture, are easily found of them, who 
diligently weigh what therein they read. 

To these two commodities of the cross, join the third, of God's 
singular wisdom, that it may be coupled with his justice and mercy. 
On this sort therefore, let us conceive, when we see the Gospel of 
God and his Church persecuted and troubled, as now with us it is ; 
that because the great, learned, and wise men of the world use not 
their wisdom to love and serve God ; as to natural wisdom and 
reason, he openeth himself manifestly by his visible creatures ; 
therefore doth God justly infatuate and make them foolish, giving 
them up to unsensibleness, especially herein. For on this manner 
reason they, concerning the affliction which cometh for the Gospel ; 
If, say they, this were God's word, if these people were God's 



400 



children, surely God would then bless and prosper them and their 
doctrine. But now, in that there is no doctrine so much hated, no 
people so much persecuted as they he, therefore it cannot be of God. 
Rather this is of God, which our Queen and old Bishops have 
professed. For how hath God preserved them and kept them ? 
What a notable victory hath God given unto her, where it was 
impossible that things should so have come to pass, as they have 
done? And did not the great captain* confess his fault, that he was 
out of the way, and not of the faith which these gospellers profess? 
How many are come again, from that which they professed to be God's 
Word? The most part of this realm, notwithstanding the diligence 
of preachers to persuade them concerning this new learning, which 
now is persecuted, never consented to it in heart, as experience 
teacheth. And what plagues have come upon this realm since 
this Gospel, as they call it, came in amongst us? Afore we had 
plenty, but now there is nothing like as it was. Moreover all the 
houses of the Parliament, have overthrown the laws made for the 
establishing of this Gospel and religion, and new laws are erected 
for the continuance of the contrary. 

How miraculously doth God confound their doctrine and confirm 
ours? For how was Wyat overthrown? How prosperously came 
in our King? How hath God blessed our Queen with fruit of the 
womb? How is the Pope's Holiness restored again to his right? 
All these do teach plainly, that this their doctrine is not God's 
word. 

Thus reason the worldly wise, who see not God's wisdom. 
For else, if they considered that there was with us, unthankfulness 
for the Gospel, no amendment of life; but that all kind of contempt 
of God, all kind of shameless sinning- ensued the preaching of the 
Gospel ; they must needs see that God could not but chastise and 
correct ; and as he let satan loose, after he had bound him a certain 
time, for unthankfulness of men, so he has let these champions of satan 
run abroad, by them to plague us for our unthankfulness. Great 
was God's anger against Ahab, because he saved Benhadad, King- 
of Syria, after he had given him into his hands; and afterward it 

* Northumberland, who recanted. 



401 



turned to his own destruction. God would that double sorrow 
should have been repaid to them, by cause of the sorrow they did to 
the saints of God. Read the eighteenth of the Revelations. 

As for the victory given to the Queen's Highness, if men had 
only godly wit, they might see many things in it. First, God hath 
done it to win her heart to the Gospel. Again, he hath done it, as 
well because they that went against her, put their trust in horses 
and power of men, and not in God ; as because in their doing, they 
sought not the propagation of God's Gospel; which thing is now 
plainly seen. Therefore, no marvel why God fought against them; 
would they were hypocrites, and under the cloak of the Gospel, 
would have debarred the Queen's Highness of her right, but God 
would not so cloak them. 

Now, for the relenting, returning, and recanting of some, from 
that which they once professed or preached; alas, Who would 
wonder at it? for they never came to the Gospel, but for commodity 
and gain's sake, and now for gain, they leave it. The multitude is 
no good argument, to move a wise man. For who knoweth not 
more to love this world, better than heaven ? themselves, better than 
their neighbours? Wide is the gate, saith Christ, and broad is the 
way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be that go in thereat; 
but strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto 
life ; and few there be that find it. All the whole multitude cry 
out upon Jesus, crucify him, truss him up; but, I trow, not because 
they were the bigger part, therefore, they were to be believed. AH 
Chaldea followed still their false gods ; only Abraham followed the 
true God. And where they say the greater plagues are fallen upon 
the realm, in poverty and such other things, than before, is no argu- 
ment to move others, than such as love their swine, better than 
Christ. For the devil chiefly desireth his seat to be in religion. 
If it be there, then he will meddle with nothing we have ; all shall 
be quiet enough. But if he be raised thence, then will he beg leave 
to have at our pigs. Read Matthew viii., of the Gergesites. As 
long as with us he had the ruling of religion, which now he hath 
gotten again, then was he Robin good-fellow; he would do no hurt. 
But wVien he was tumbled out of his throne, by preaching of the 
Gospel, then ranged he about as he hath done, but secretly. 

3 P 



402 



Finally, effectual he hath not been, hut in the children of 
unbelief. Them indeed hath he stirred up to be covetous oppressors, 
blasphemers, usurers, whoremongers, thieves, murderers, tyrants; 
and yet, perchance, he suffered them to profess the Gospel, the more 
thereby to hinder it, and cause it to be slandered. 

How many now do appear to have been true gospellers? As 
for the Parliament, and statutes thereof, no ma'n of wisdom can think 
otherwise, but that (look what the rulers will) the same must there 
be enacted. For it goeth not in those houses by the better part, 
but by the bigger part. And it is a common saying, and no less 
true ; major pars vincit meliorem, the greater part overcometh the 
better. So they did in condemning Christ, not regarding the 
counsel of Nicodemus. So they did also in many general councils. 
But all wise men know the Acts of Parliament are not for God's 
law in respect of God's law, but in respect of the people. Now 
what we are, God knoweth, and all the world seeth ; more meet a 
great deal, to have the devil's decrees, than God's religion ; so great 
is our contempt of it; and therefore, justly for our sins, as Job 
saitb, God hath set hypocrites to reign over us, who can no more 
abide God's true religion, than the owl the light, or bleared eyes 
the bright sun ; for it will have them, to do their duties, and walk 
in diligent doing, of the works of their vocation. If God's word, 1 
mean, had place, bishops could not play chancellors and idle 
prelates, as they do. Priests should be otherwise known, than by 
their shaven crowns and tippets. But enough of this. 

As for miracles of success against Wyat and others, of the King's 
coming in, &c.; I would to God men would consider two kinds of 
miracles; one, to prepare and confirm men in the doctrine, which 
they have received ; and another, to prove and try men, how they 
have received it, and how they will stick unto it. Of the former 
these miracles be not, but of the second. Now, by this success given 
to the Queen, God trieth whether we will stick to his truth, simply 
for his truth*s sake, or no. This is a mighty elusion, which God 
sendeth to prove his people, and to deceive the hypocrites; who 
receive not God's truth simply, but in respect of gain, praise, 
estimation. Read how Ahab was deceived. 2 Thess. ii. Deut. xiii. 

But I will now return to the third commodity, coming by the 



403 

cross. Here let us see the wisdom of God, in making the wisdom 
of the world foolish, which knoweth little of man's corruption, how 
foul it is in the sight of God. and displeaseth him ; which knoweth 
little the portion of God's people to be in another world ; which 
knoweth little the patron of Christians, Christ Jesus ; which knoweth 
little the general judgment of God ; the great malice of satan to 
God's people; the price and estimation of the Gospel; and therefore 
in the cross, seeth not as God's wisdom would we should see, 
namely, that God in punishing them who sin least, would have 
his anger against sin seen most, and to be better considered and 
feared. 

In punishing his people here, he kindleth their desire towards 
their restful home. In punishing his servants in this life, he doth 
conform and make them like to Christ ; that as they be like in suf- 
fering, so shall they be in reigning. In punishing liis Church in 
the world, he doth give a demonstration of his judgment which 
shall come on all men, when the godly shall there find rest, though 
now they be afflicted ; and the wicked, now wallowing in wealth, 
shall be wrapped in woe and smart. In punishing the professors of 
his Gospel on earth, he setteth forth the malice of satan against the 
Gospel and his people ; for the more confirming of their faith, and 
the Gospel to be God's word indeed, and they to be God's people : for 
else the devil would let them alone. - 

In punishing the lovers of his truth, more than others who care 
not for it; he putteth them in mind, how they have not had in price 
as they should have had, the fuel of his word and Gospel. Before 
such trial and experience came, perchance they thought they had 
believed and had had faith, which now they see was but a lip faith, 
a mock faith, or an opinion. All which things we see are occasions 
for us to take better heed, by mean of the cross. Therefore thirdly, 
let us consider the cross to be commodious for us, to learn God's 
wisdom, and what is man's foolishness ; God's displeasure at sin ; a 
desire to be with God ; the conformity with Christ ; the general 
judgment; the malice of satan ; hatred of sin; the Gospel to be 
God's Word, and how it is to be esteemed, &c. Thus much for this. 
Now 1 will, fourthly, briefly shew you the cross or trouble, to be 
profitable for us to learn and behold better the providence, presence, 



404 

and power of God. that all these may be coupled together, as in a 
chain, to hang- ahout our necks; 1 mean God's justice, mercy, wis- 
dom, po\ver, presence, and providence. When all things be in rest, 
and men be not in trouble, then they are forgetful of God commonly; 
and attribute too much to their own wisdom, policies, providence, and 
diligence ; as though they were the procurers of their own fortune, 
and workers of their own weal. But when the cross cometh, and 
that in such sort as their wits, policies, and friends cannot help ; 
though the wicked despair, run from God to saints, and such other 
unlawful means; yet do the godly therein behold the presence, the 
providence, and power of God. For the Scripture teacheth all 
things to come from God, weal and woe ; and that the same should 
be looked upon as God's work, although satan,the devil, be often an 
instrument, by whom God worketh justly and mercifully. Justly to 
the wicked, and mercifully to the godly: as by the examples of 
wicked Saul and godly Job, easily we may see God's work by satan, 
his instrument in them both. 

The children of God, therefore, who before forgot God in 
prosperity; now in adversity are awakened to see God in his work, 
and no more to hang on their own forecasts, power, friends, wisdom, 
riches, &c.; but learn to cast themselves on God's providence and 
power, whereby they are so preserved and governed, and very often 
miraculously delivered; that the very wicked cannot but see God's 
providence, presence, and power, in the cross and affliction of his 
children; as they (his children I mean), to their joy do feel it, 
thereby learning to know God, to be the governor of all things. 

HE IT IS THAT GIVETH PEACE; HE IT IS THAT SENDETH WAR ; HE 
GIVETH PLENTY AND POVERTY; HE SETTETH UP AND CASTETH 
DOWN; HE BRINGETB DEATH AND AFTER GIVETH LIFE; HIS PRE- 
SENCE is EVERY WHERE; HIS PROVIDENCE is WITHIN AND WITHOUT ; 

HIS POWER IS THE PILLAR, WHEREBY THE GODLY STAND, AND TO IT 
THEY LEAN, AS TO TfiE THING NO LESS ABLE TO SET UP, THAN TO 

CAST DOWN; which thing full well the apostle saw in his afflictions, 
and therefore greatly rejoiced in them, that eminentia virtutis Dei, 
God's power, might singularly be seen therein. 

Concerning this thing, I might bring forth innumerable examples 
of the affliction of God's children, both in the Old and New Testa- 



405 

ment; wherein we may seeho\v they felt God's presence, providence, 
and power plentifully. But I will omit examples, because every one 
of us that have been or be in trouble cannot but, by the same, remem- 
ber God's presence, which we feel by his hand upon us; his provi- 
dence which leaveth us not unprovided for, without any of our own 
provision ; and his power which both preserveth us from many other 
evils, which else would come upon us, and also maketh us able to bear 
more, than we thought we could have done. So very often doth he 
deliver us by such means, as have been thought most foolish, and 
little to have been regarded ; and therefore we shake off our sleep of 
security, and forgetting of God our trust and shift in our own 
policies; our hanging on men, or on our own power. So that the 
cross you see, is commodious, fourthly, for to see God's presence, 
providence, and power, and our own negligence, forgetfulness of 
God, security, self-love, trust, and confidence in ourselves; and 
things in this life to be cast oft', as the other are to be taken hold on. 
And this shall suffice for the commodities which come by the cross, 
wherethrough we may be in love with it for the commodities sake ; 
which at length we shall find, though presently in sense we feel 
them not. No castigation or punishment is sweet for the present 
instant, saith the apostle, but afterwards the end and work of the 
thing is otherwise. As we see in medicines, the more wholesome 
that they be, the more unpleasant is the taste thereof; as in pills, 
potions, and such like bitter stuff"; yet we will, on the physician's 
word, drink them gladly for the profit which cometh of them. And, 
dearly beloved, although to lose life and goods, or friends for God's 
Gospel sake, it seem a bitter and sour thing; yet in that our physi- 
cian who cannot lie, Jesus Christ 1 mean, doth tell us that it is 
very wholesome, howsoever it be lothsotne, let us, with good cheer, 
take the cup at his hand and drink it merrily. If the cup seem 
unpleasant, and the drink too bitter, let us put some sugar therein, 
even a piece of that, which Moses cast into the bitter water, and 
made the same pleasant; I mean an ounce, yea a dram, of Christ's 
afflictions and cross, which he suffered for us. If we call this to 
mind, and cast them into our cup, (considering what he was, what he 
suffered, of whom, for whom, to what end, and what came thereof), 
surely we cannot loth our medicine, but wink and drink it lustily. 



406 

Lustily therefore drink the cup which Christ giveth, and will 
give unto you, my good brethren and sisters; I mean prepare your- 
selves to softer, whatsoever God will lay upon you, for the confessing 
of his holy name. If not because of these three things, that ye are 
not of the world ; ye suffer not alone, your trouble shall not hurt 
you; yet for the commodities which come of the cross, I beseech 
you heartily to embrace it. The fight is but short, the joy is 
exceeding great. Oportet semper orare, we must pray alway. Then 
shall we, undoubtedly, be directed in all things by God's Holy Spirit, 
which Christ hath promised to be our doctor, teacher, and comfor- 
ter, and therefore we need not to fear, what man or devil can do unto 
us, either by false teaching or cruel persecution; for our pastor is 
such a one, that none can take his sheep out of his hands. 

Thus much, my dear brethren and sisters in our dear Lord and 
Saviour Jesus Christ, I thought good to write unto you for your 
comfort. From the which, if ye for fear of man, loss of goods, 
fiiends, or life, do swerve or depart, then ye depart and swerve from 
Christ; and so snarl* yourselves in satan's S9phistry, to your utter 
subversion. Therefore, as Saint Peter saith, watch and be sober, 
for as a roaring lion, he seeketh to devour you. Be strong in faith, 
that is, marnmer not, nor waver not in God's promises, but believe 
certainly, that they pertain to you ; that God is with you in trouble; 
that he will deliver you, and glorify you. But yet see that ye call 
upon him, specially, that ye enter not into temptation, as he taught 
his disciples, even at such time as he saw satan desire to sift them, 
as now he hath done to sift us. O, dear Saviour, prevent him now, 
as thou didst then, 'with thy prayer, J beseech thee; and grant that 
our faith faint not; but strengthen us to confirm the weak, that 
they deny not thee and thy Gospel ; that they return not to their 
vomit, stumbling on those sins from the which there is no recovery; 
causing thee to deny them before thy Father ; making their latter 
end worse than the beginning ; as it chanced to Lot's wife, Judas 
Iscariot, Francis Spira, and to many others. But rather strengthen 
them and us all in thy grace, and in those things which thy word 
teacheth, that we may here hazard our life for thy sake, and so shall 

* InUngle. Bailey. 



407 



we be sure to save it; as if we seek to save it, we cannot but lose it ; 
and that being 1 lost, what profit can we have, if we win the whole 
world ? Oh, set thou always before our eyes, not as reason doth, 
this life, the pleasure of the same, death of the body, and imprison- 
ment, &c. ; but everlasting 1 life, and those unspeakable joys which 
undonbtedly they shall have, who take up the cross and follow 
thee ; and eternal hell fire and destruction of soul and body for 
evermore, which they must needs at length fall into; who are 
afraid for the hoar frost of adversity, that rnan or the devil stirreth 
up, to stop or hinder us for going forward in our journey to heaven's 
bliss, to the which do thou bring us, for thy name's sake, Amen. 
Your own in the Lord, 

JOHN BRADFORD. 



THE following eulogium upon King Edward 
VI., for whom all the reformers deservedly 
entertained the most affectionate regard, is, 
perhaps, not inferior to any of Bradford's 
other productions. " You all know, he was 
but a child in years ; defiled he was not 
with notorious offences ; defiled, quoth he ! 
nay, rather adorned, with so many goodly 
gifts, and wonderful qualities, as never prince 
was, from the beginning of the world ; should 
I speak of his wisdom, of his ripeness in 
judgment, of his learning, of his godly zeal, 
heroical heart, fatherly care for his commons, 
nurse-like solicitude for religion, &c.*" 

* This is well evidenced by that monarch's dying prayer, as taken 
from his lips almost in extremis," Lord God, deliver me out of this 
wretched and miserable life, and take me among thy chosen. Howbeit, 



408 

Nay, so many things are to be spoken, in 
the commendation of God's exceeding graces 
in this child, that, as Sallust writeth of 
Carthage, I -had rather speak nothing, than 
too little, in that too much is too little. This 
gift God gave unto us Englishmen, before all 
nations, under the sun ; and that of his 
exceeding love towards us. But alas and 
wellaway, for our unthankfulness' sake, for 
our carnality, and profane living ; God's 
anger hath touched, not only the body, but 
also the mind of our King, by a long sickness, 
and at length hath taken him away, by death, 
death, cruel death, fearful death.'** 

The whole may be properly concluded by 
the following lines, by an unknown author, 
from an original MS. never before published. 



not my will, but thine be done. Lord, I commit my spirit to thee. O 
Lord, thou knowest how happy it were for me to be with thee ; yet for 
thy chosen's sake, send me life and health that I may truly serve thee. 
Oh, my Lord God, bless my people, and save their inheritance. O 
Lord God, save thy chosen people of England. O Lord God, defend 
this realm from liaptStfg, and maintain thy true religion, that I and my 
people may praise thy holy name, for Jesus Christ his sake." Prayer 
apud finem King Edward VI.'s own arguments. (London 1682.) See 
also the remains of this ever-to-be-lamented monarch; and the learned 
Cardan's encomium upon him, in Burnet's Hist. Reform, vol. ii. pt. i. 3. 
and pt. ii. 124. 

* Bradford's epistle, prefixed to his sermon on repentance, preached 
six days after Edward's decease. 



409 
IN OBITU BRADFORDI.* 

Plangite Bradfordum, lachrymis nee parcite vestris, 

Quo magis in toto vixerat orbe plus : 
Namque sacri verus cognoscitur ille minister 

Verbi, religio vera quousque fuit.^ 
Dogmata quse docuit vivendo prsestitit ipse, 

Vitaque cum verbo iuncta fuere simul. 
Permansit constans mortem constanter ad usque, 

Nee potuit mundi gaza movere virum. 
Non valet a recto Bradfordum, quern tulit, ignis 

Flectere, sed verum qusesiit usque Deum. 
Captum sollicitant rectum contemnere iniqui, 

******* Viro quas habet orbis opes. 
Noluit ille tamen verum contemnere numen, 

Sperans fcelicem post sua fata diem. 
Horrida pro Christo patiens tormenta ferebat, 

Ejus despiciens quicquid amore grave est. 
Ingemit heu populus, Smithfelda jam moriendum 

Fama ce/er vati, cum tulit, esse suo. 
Quod verum est docuit, gessit se fronte benigna, 

Qua cunctos placidus torsit amore pios. 
Nullus eum Justus, cupiunt extinguere soli, 

Qui leges torquent ad sua vota, mali. 
O male crudeles ! quis, dicite, viderit unquam, 

Tot, flammae poenas morte dedisse, pios ? 
Die mihi quis ferret vestrum papista tyraimus 

Flammam, sed potius Protheus usque foret ? 

* MS. Harl. Mus. Brit. No. 416. Fol. 38. 

t Dummodo vera fuit. 

% Promittuntque. The words here erased are not intelligible. 
Velox. 

3G 



410 

Dicendi veniam suprema morte negastis, 

Ast vulgus signis credidit omne datis. 
Voce vianij tendens plus ad sua fata, replevit, 

Hoc rogat, ut populi possit habere preces. 
Cum loca contigerit vitam* linqueret ille, 

Sponte tenens flammam, lux mea dixit, ave. 
Cum sene Bradfordo, rectum quod spernere nollet,^ 

Est quidam, indomito qui fuit igne comes. 
Sed populi gemitus imo de pectore ducunt, 

Cum mala tarn justos tanta tulisse vident. 

* Queis. 

t luvenis cognoraine Lefus. This refers to a pious apprentice of 
the name of John Leafe, who was burned at the same time with Brad- 
ford. Acts and Mon. iii. 306. 



APPENDIX. 



APPENDIX. 



NOTE (A.) P. 2. 



THIS statement seems hardly consistent with the 
following- account from Strype : " Whilst in his service 
once he took up some money, and that it seems in his 
master's name, which he was not able presently to repay. 
But interest and application were made by friends on his 
behalf, and at length, in May, 1548, his master was pre- 
vailed with to pay the debt for him, and he to become debtor 
to his master ; and so Sir John bound himself, under his hand, 
to pay the sum before Candlemas next ensuing. But while 
this thing depended, which he called in his letters his great 
thing, the conscience of his fault did exceedingly affect 
him. He confessed his fault to his master, owned his debt, 
offered all the satisfaction he could; and because, beside con- 
fession and repentance, restitution was required, which he 
was not yet able enough in purse to do, he intended to offer 
himself to be a bondman to his creditor, according as he 
read in the Jewish law. Concerning this intention of his, 
he writ to a faithful friend, Father Traves, I suppose, 
desiring him to resort to Latimer, who was privy to this 

a 



IV 

matter, and advise with him concerning- this selling- of his 
body to make restitution. When he came to the Reverend 
Father, he was busy in preparing- a sermon to be preached 
the next Sunday before the King, but in short, signified his 
dislike of so rigorous and unusual a course, and said that he 
would not have him go so far ; and that better counsel, or 
more, he could not give him, than he had before done, viz. 
that he should wait, and commit the whole to God. He 
consulted also with his aforesaid friend, and poured out his 
trouble into his bosom, fearing much lest he should die 
before he had made his restitution. But soon after, going 
to study in Cambridge, means was made that the debt 
was paid, and his heart set at rest. Strype's Eccl. Mem. 
vol. iii. pt. I. 366. 

But Fox must have known the merits of the case much 
better than Strype, and as it is clear from the correspondence 
with Traves that Fox was aware of the transaction, he could 
never have made the statement in the text if it had borrie the 
character of delinquency towards Bradford's master. From 
the expressions in his letters to Traves the culpable act 
seems clearly to have been one of connivance, rather than 
of participation, for otherwise how could he possibly inveigh 
against Sir John Harrington so loudly for not making resti- 
tution ? There is not a sing-je expression which points to his 
own guilt beyond that of connivance at the fraudulent act of 
Sir John, whose conscience he condemns for not making 
restitution, and whom he threatens with disclosure in 
case he neglects to do so. Strype gives no evidence that 
Bradford became bound to Sir John Harrington for repay- 
ment of the money, nor does the following letter from Traves 
to Bradford, and to which Strype refers as explaining the 
transaction, allude to such a circumstance. This letter we 
g-ive at length. 



Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father, and our 
Lord Jesus Christ. Ye shal understood, that after the re- 
ceipt of your letters, I declared to Mr. Latymer the sum that 
ye writ to me concerning- your matter with your maister. 
When I came to that place, that you offered yourself to be a 
bondman, he misliked it, and said, though by Goddis word 
appeareth, that to make restitution we ought to sel ourselves ; 
yet wold I not, sayed he, that he should go so far with his 
maister. I asked, him what counsil he wold gyve you ; he 
said, better counsil, or more than I have gyven him, I cannot. 
Let him tary, and, commytting the whole to God, work by 
leysure. More cowld I not get of him ; nor durst 1 not treble 
hym, for by cause he was studiously occupy ed in preparing a 
sermon to be preached, if God wil, before the kyng this next 
Sonday. He knowith not certaynly whether he shal thereto 
be called, but as yet judgith. What his counsel is, ye have 
herd. 

Ye procede and ask my counsel. Alas ! You know that 
I am but a very block, yea, more dumb than a dumb idol ; 
as lytel help in me as in the block of Walsingham.* Ear- 
nestly I protest, that I know not what nor how to counsil 

* This alludes to an image of the Virgin Mary in the famous Priory 
of Walsingham, commonly called in the age of idolatry and supersti- 
tion, our Lady of Walsingham. Walsingham Priory was situated in 
Norfolk, not far from Fakenham. 

The chapel was founded there in honour of the Virgin in 1061. The 
Priory Church was a grand edifice, but the greatest beauty and glory of 
this Priory was the chapel of the blessed Virgin, founded in honour of 
the Annuntiatiqn. Erasmus describes it as a small chapel, all of wood, 
on each side of which is a little narrow door, where those are admitted 
who came with their offerings and paid their devotions, and had no light 
but from the wax candles, the odour of which was delightful ; and 
glittered with jewels, gold and silver, insomuch that it seemed to be the 
seat of the Gods. At the allar here was a canon resident who received 
and took care of the offerings. 



VI 



you : but pray, pray, and commyt yourself wholly to God. 
Wish an encreas of that desire that ye have to make resti- 
tution. And whether that God wil so enrich you, that ye 



So great was the fame of this idol or image of the Lady of Wal- 
singham that foreigners of all nations, came on a pilgrimage to her, 
insomuch that the number of her devotees and worshippers seemed to 
equal those of the Lady of Loretto in Italy, and the town of Walsing- 
ham Parva owed its chief support and maintenance thereto. Amongst 
the other royal and noble dupes of idolatrous imposture, King Henry 
VII. mentions in his will, that he had ordered an image of silver and 
gilt to be made and offered up, and set before the Lady of Walsingham. 
Isabel, Countess of Warwick, in 1439 bequeathed her tablet with the 
image of our Lady, to the Church of Walsingham, which had a glass 
over it ; also to the Lady there, her gown of alyz cloth of gold, with 
wide sleeves, and a tabernacle of silver, like in the timbre to that of our 
Lady of Caversham. 

So superstitious, so weak and credulous were the commonality, that 
they believed the galaxy or milky way was appointed by providence to 
point out the particular place and residence of the Virgin, and was on 
that account generally in that age called Walsingham Way. 

This image, or block of wood, was brought through London to 
Chelsea in the 30th of Henry VIII., and there publicly burnt. Bloom- 
field's Norfolk, vol. v. 835, 840. 

Besides this idol at Walsingham, there were several other gross im- 
positions, and amongst others, the Rood of Grace at Bexley, in Kent, 
where a Duck's Blood was exhibited, as that of the Saviour and Dar- 
vel Gadern, which was brought up from Wales, and burned, and turned 
out to be the statue of an old bishop. Herbert's Henry VIII. 496. 

But the affected liberality of the present day will perhaps inquire 
why repeat and attempt to perpetuate these antiquated mummeries? the 
answer is ready, because they are still practised wherever Papists think 
they can do so without exposing themselves to ridicule. When once 
such fooleries and iniquities are renounced and anathematized by Papal 
authority, but not till then, Protestants will merit censure for repeating 
and exhibiting them. What will Papists say to the Veronica or sacred 
handkerchief? and to the blasphemous pictures of the Marriage of the 
Divine Saviour with Catharine, a nun of Sienna, with which the whole 
Papal continent abounds ! ' It is common in these temples (viz. the 



Vll 



shal be able to pay it, or that he wil move your maister, so 
that he wii and shal pay it, commit it to God with ernest 
desire and faithful prayer, that at length, yet when his mer- 
cyful ey shal se most meet, he wil unburden you of your 
check ; and look for his help in peace. I mean no such beastly 
security as is in me ; but with pacyent suffering-, without 
wry thing, wrasting, ordoubtyngof his promis, without des- 
perate voices, thoughts, gronyngs, or woes. For the Lord 
knowith whan and how to delyver them that trust in him, 
for their best avayle ; yea, mawgre the berdis of al hard 
harts, God wil at length, man, delyver thee. In the mean 
tyme, be neyther stock nor stone, but labour for your part 
towardis the ending- of it, as opportunyty shal serve; whether 

Pantheon &c. at Rome,) to find the shrine of some antient hero, filled by 
the meaner statue of some modern saint: while in other instances, they 
have not even given themselves the trouble to make this change ; but have 
been content to take up with the old image just as they found it, after bap- 
tizing or consecrating it anew by the imposition of a Christian name ; 
as in the Church of St. Agnes the antique statue of a young Bacchus, 
with a little change of drapery, was afterwards worshipped under the 
title of that female saint. The famous statue of St. Peter in his Cathe- 
dral at Rome is seated in a chair, and he holds a key in his hand the 
well known position of Jupiter ; who however held a thunderbolt. The 
history of this statue is rather curious : there were formerly two statues 
of Jupiter Capitolinus, one of stone, the other of bronze. When Chris- 
tianity succeeded to Heathenism, they put Peter's head on the body of 
the stone statue, and gave him a pair of new hands, in one of which they 
placed a key ; they then melted the bronze of the other statue of Jupiter, 
and re-cast it, after the fashion of the stone one, as altered ; and so the 
worship went on quite as well to the modern apostle, as it had done to 
the antient thunderer. In either case, the true God was neglected and 
forgotten, and an image was set up in his place, *' which had eyes and 
saw not, and which had ears and heard not, neither was their any breath 
in its nostrils." Letters on the Paganism of Popery, by Ignotus, p. 34. 
See also Ventess' Letter of Congratulation, Notes, E. F. Rome in the 
xix Century, vol. i. 58. vol. in. 136. 



Till 

in moving him agayn, (as I would surely wish to do,) or 
labouring to gather of your own for the payment therof. 
Do it freely, but do al in the name of the Lord, in al thyngs 
gyving thanks to God the Father, thorow Jesus Christ. Arid 
the most mighty God move the hart of your maister to enrich 
you to your unburdenyng, even whan his wil shal be. 

Despair not, thowgh al in hast it be not repayed, as 
though ye were a man forlore, for that the payment is not 
made ; but rather gyve thanks to God even hartily, for that 
he hath opened the fault unto you, and hath gyven you a 
conscience in it. For he might have gyven you up into a 
lewd mynd, which shuld, nothyng regardyng it, have cryed 
peace, peace, untyl sudden destruction had cummen. But 
God of his mercy hath opened it to you ; not that ye shuld 
delight in it, (as, Oh ! forgive me, that I do, in com- 
memoration of my iniquity, much more delight, than 
sorrow,) but that it shuld be a schole, a cross, a vexation, 
and perturbation of mynd unto you. Ita tamen, that ye must 
be void from that desperate solicitude, and with this, that 
God hath gyven you an ernest desire to recompence : which 
is a great comfort, a signifying, that thowgh ye be a wretch 
and a synner, yet God is with you and in you. Who can 
then harm you ? 

But how shal I do, if 1 dy, say you, this being unpayd ? 
I say, God hath gyven you a desyre to pay it, but not a 
power. Is God so cruel, trow ye, that he wil exact of you 
to do that that is impossible for you to do ? Are ye able to 
pay it ? Then pay it. Are ye not able ? Have a contynual 
desire, which is to be begged of God, to pay, and, in the 
name of God, work so long as ye live, as God shal lead you 
towards the payment of it. And yf ye dy before the satis- 
faction, yet 1 thynk ye shal go without peryl. For 1 beleve 
the synn is forgyven alredy, for Christis sake. 



IX 

There remayneth then by the doctor's mynd but restitu- 
tion ; and I believe that you have animum restituendi, and 
ernestly labourith and followith, upon Goddis preparation, 
toward the restitution ; the same hath made a g-ood restitu- 
tion, if ye dy before a ful restitution. 

But indede that substance that ye have at that tyme 
gathered tog-ether, must go fully towards it. But what talk 
ye of death ? God is able to make you to make restitution, 
even tomorrow. Pray contynually for his help, and ease to 
unburden that way, which he knowith to be best for you. 
And I dare say, that for Jesus's sake, he wil both hear 
and help you. But pray not, appointing- God ony tyme ; 
sed expecta Dominum, donee misereatur tui, with ful sub- 
mission, even in a pacient, faithful mynd to his wil. O how 
arrogantly take I upon me to babble. But as 1 scribble, so 
do I but partly ; follow not me, Bradford, follow not me, 
for I am a very impenitent beast. I tell you of restitution ? 
Oh ! Lord, spare me ; gyve me not up altogether to a lewd 
impenitent hart, in which I procure heaps of wrath. Lord, 
help, for Christis sake, help me. Al that I do, I do it in syn 
and vain glory. Yet shal not the devil let me to wryte. 
For out of the wyld fig tree some profit may cum. But no 
thank to the tree, but to the Creator. 

Now foolishly further wil 1 go. 1 wold not offer myself 
into bondage to that erthly maister. Ye know not what 
bondage meanith. Be it that I speak but carnally, I speak 
as I am. I wold not but thynk assuredly, that as God hath 
gyven me that grace to knowledg my debt, being free, that 
same Lord of his mercy wil, and is able at ease, to work in 
my freedom the discharge of my debt. * 

Dr. Kippis, or whoever was the author of the article, 

* Strype Eccl. Mem. vol. in. p. 2. 285. Catalogue, No. xxxiii. 



Bradford, in the Biographia Britannica, seems to adopt the 
view taken by Strype, and gives the following- extract from 
Sampson's Life of Bradford, prefixed to two of this reformer's 
sermons. 

" He was much helped by a continual meditation and 
practice of repentance and faith in Christ ; in which he was 
kept, by God's grace, notably exercised all the days of his 
life; and that, even in this mean time (of those obstruc- 
tions) he heard a sermon,* which that notable preacher, 
Master Latimer made before King- Edward VI. in which he 
did earnestly speak of restitution to be made of things 
falsely gotten ; which did so strike Bradford to the heart, 
for one dash of a pen which he had made, without the 
knowledge of his master, as full often I have heard him 
confess, with plenty of tears ; being- clerk to the treasurer 
of the king's camp beyond the seas, and was to the deceiv- 
ing of the king", that he could never be quiet, till, by the 
advice of the same M. Latimer, a restitution was made: 
which thing to bring to pass, he did willingly forbear and 
forego all the private and certain patrimony which he had 
on earth. Let all bribers, and purloining- officers, which 
get to themselves great revenues on earth, by such slippery 
shifts, follow his example, lest taking- a contrary course, they 
take a con rary way, and never come where Bradford now 
is." Biog. Brit. vol. ii. 541. 

It must be acknowledged this is strong evidence of in- 
dividual and exclusive delinquency; but the complaints 



* The sermon which produced this effect was most probably that on 
covetousness. Latimer's Sermons, vol. i. 270. London, 1788. And in 
which there is a passage which is generally supposed to allude to this 
very transaction, but which, as it is inserted in the Biog. Brit. vol. ii. 
542. Nota, and more lately by Mr. Soames, Hist. Reform, vol. iv. 421. 
it would be improper now to repeat. 



xi 

and reproaches which are contained in Bradford's letters to 
Traves, seem perfectly irreconcileable with the above ac- 
count given by Sampson. 

Still less recortcileable with such delinquency is Brad- 
ford's own declaration, when under his last examination, 
and when the stake and faggot were plainly before him 
for when Gardiner charged him with having deceived his 
master of seven score pounds, Bradford indignantly replied, 
" my Lord, I set my foot by his, whosoever he be, that can 
come forth and justly vouch to my face that ever I deceived 
my master, and as you are Chief Justice by office in Eng- 
land, I desire justice upon them that so slander me, because 
they cannot prove it." Fox iii. 289. 

Mr. Soames, in his very useful history of the Reformation, 
(vol. iv. 420), seems to take it for granted that Bradford was 
the exclusive delinquent; but the following are the remarks 
of M. Chalmers. " His exchanging so profitable a situation 
for the clerical profession is rather obscurely accounted for 
by his biographers, some attributing it to his having imbibed 
the principles of the reformers, and being encouraged to 
join their number; others to certain abuses in Sir John 
Harrington's office, in which, he either participated, or at 
which he connived, and the iniquity of which first struck 
him, on hearing a sermon of Bishop Latimer upon the sub- 
ject of restitution. There is much reason, however, to doubt 
whether this sermon was not subsequent to the restitution 
he made of about .500, which he apprehended the king 
had lost, by some error in his and Sir John Harrington's 
accounts." 

" The fact seems to have been that Bradford was a man 
of great tenderness of conscience, and where he imagines 
he had done an injury, was restless until he had made 
restitution ; and lamented his crime on this occasion with 

b 



Xll 



more bitterness than will be thought necessary, by many 
persons, who have been intrusted with much larger public 
accounts." Chalmers' Biography, Voce Bradford. 



NOTE (B.) P. 9. 



IT is not to be collected from expressions similar to this, 
which are to be found in the following letters, as well as 
in the writings of the most eminent Christians, in those 
periods of the church, when the life and spirit of religion 
have been most conspicuous ; that the writer was really the 
infamous character, before men, which such expressions 
would import. Thus in the writings of that eminent re- 
former Luther, many passages are to be found, whence the 
papists lay to his charge enormous crimes which he never 
committed. Men of the world, and those who are unac- 
quainted with Christian experience, and the conflict which 
frequently, not always, takes place in the souls of the chil- 
dren of God, are unable to comprehend that depth of humility 
and excess of self abasement, which some of the most 
eminent,, and generally such are the most eminent chris- 
tians, undergo whilst under the teaching and correction of 
the Holy Spirit. St. Paul declared he was the chief of 
sinners* and so most probably he was in his own estima- 
tion, in respect of his persecution of the disciples of Jesus 
Christ, and his utter unworthiness in the sight of God ; but 
does any one believe that the holy apostle was really a 
vicious or immoral character ? 

* 1 Tim, i. 15. 



Xlll 

NOTE (C.) P. 29. 

His ordination took place at Fulham, August 10, 1550, 
Strype Eccl. Mem. vol. ii. pt. 1. 403. ; and in the previous 
month of July, he had visited Peter Martyr, at Oxford, in 
company with his friend Bucer. Ibid. 383. It is not a 
little curious that whilst protestant episcopalians lay so 
much stress upon episcopal ordination, their episcopal bre- 
thren of the popish hierarchy, altogether deny the validity 
of the orders of the church of England ; and thus to the 
last they stiled Bradford only laicus, thereby implying that 
Ridley had no power to confer orders. " One thing I observe 
in it (Bradford's degradation) that Bradford is stiled laicus, 
and so he is all along styled in the process, as though they 
disowned the ordination he received from the hands of 
Ridley, Bishop of London/' Strype Eccl. Mem. vol. iii. 
pt. 1. 366. How strange that men of sense and piety can 
be so blinded by a system as to adopt, misstate, and per- 
petuate, the very errors and follies they profess to condemn. 
The irregularity complained against did not arise out of the 
famous Nag's Head controversy, which originated in the 
consecration of Archbishop Parker, &c. in the reign of Queen 
Elizabeth ; but in respect of the Bishops, after the renuntia- 
tion of the supremacy of the Pope, being appointed by Act 
of Parliament, and taking out letters patent and commissions 
from the sovereign. Thus Ridley, who had been made a 
Bishop in the first year of the reign of Edward VI., held his 
office under such a commission. See the whole subject 
explained in Collier ii.219. and Burnett JRefor. vol. i. 412. 
ii. 8. 

The Bishops from Jure Divino 

Thus brought, (what cannot Kings and Queens do?) 



XIV 



Are now become no other thing-, 
Than simple vassals to the King ; 
And as such, he from Sees ejects, 
As often, as he finds defects 
That he's not willing- to endure : 
And all this does by Pope-like power. 

Ward's England's Refor. Canto i. 68. 



NOTE (D.) P. 29. 



BRADFORD was not the only divine of that day who 
thought that the habits, as they were called, were neither 
more nor less than relics of popery, and at all events should 
be treated as matters of choice and not of imposition. Thus 
Rogers, Philpot, Tims, Latimer, Farrar, Taylor, and Hooper, 
openly declared themselves against them: and even Cran- 
mer and Ridley, who had exercised great severity against 
Hooper and others, lived to see their mistakes and repent 
of their conduct. Cranmer being clothed in the habits of 
his degradation, said all this needeth not, I had myself done 
with this years ago. Ridley when he refused to put on 
the surplice at his degradation, and they put it on by 
force, vehemently inveighed against it, calling it foolish and 
abominable, and too fond for a vice in a play. Fox iii. 500. 
And during his confinement in prison he wrote to Hooper, 
saying, that he was entirely knit to him, though in some 
circumstances of religion they had formerly varied a little ; 
wherein it was Hooper's wisdom, and his (Ridley's) own 
simplicity, which had made the difference. Brook's Puri- 
tans vol. i. 12. Cov. 44. 45. ; and both Cranmer and Ridley 



XV 

avowed their intention of procuring- an act to abolish them. 
Bishop Jewel at a later period calls them " the habits of the 
stag-e and the relics of the Amorites/' and even Parker says 
he was not fond of the cap, the surplice, &c. and would 
have been pleased with a toleration. Strype's Parker, 
App. 41. Neale's Puritans, i. 158. Pierce's Vind. i. 44. 
Nor was the matter of the habits the only point in which 
Archbishop Cranmer meditated a more perfect reformation, 
and more vital separation from the practices of the Romish 
Church. Bennett's Mem. of the Reform. 53. These 
authorities stand sadly in the way of those referred to by 
Dr. Wordsworth, Eccl.Biog. vol. ii. 441. Vita Bishop 
Hooper, Note, and vol. iii. 274, Note. There is no doubt 
the matter in dispute was unimportant, but who was the 
party to blame, those who conscientiously refused matters 
that were not important, because they thought they ap- 
proximated too closely to the errors of the papists, and by 
consequence the pag-ans ; or those who attempted forcibly 
to impose such unimportant matters upon their more con- 
scientious brethren ; and who did not hesitate upon every 
occasion to persecute them for their nonconformity ? The 
chief objection has always been, not in the things themselves, 
but in the imposition of them, as prerequisites to the exercise 
of the Christian ministry, and can any thing- be so excessively 
absurd and ridiculous, not to say wicked ? 



NOTE (E.) P. 29. 



UPON a former occasion (in 1552), when it was in 
contemplation to remove Edmund Grindal from a prebendal 
stall to the bench, Ridley being- desirous to bestow the 



XVI 

vacancy apon a worthy person, writes thus to Sir William 
Cecil and others of the council. " If they desired to know 
unto whom he would that dignity of the church called the 
chantership should be given, he told them, unto any one of 
the following persons ; M. Bradford, whom in niy consci- 
ence said he, I judge more worthy to be a bishop, than many 
of us that be bishops already, to be parish priests."- 
Strype's Grind al, p. 11. citing MSS. Cecilian. British 
Mu#. Lansd. Coll. No. 2, 104. So again, speaking of 
Latimer, Bradford, Knox, and Lever: Ridley says, "that 
they ripped so deeply in the galled backs of the great men 
of the court, to have purged them of the filthy matter that 
was festered in their hearts, of insatiable covetousness, 
filthy carnality and voluptuousness, intolerable ambition 
and pride, and ungodly loathsomeness to hear poor men's 
causes and God's word, that they of all other they could 
never abide." Strype's Parker, i. 421. " He was a man, 
by whom, as 1 am assuredly informed, God hath and doth 
work wonders, in setting forth his word." Ridley, Strype 
Ecd. Mem. vol. iii. pt. 1. 365. Cov. 683. 

NOTE (F.) P. 29. 

" HE laboured so vehemently in the University at his 
studies, that the first year of his coming thither, he was 
made Master of Arts, and was soon after chosen Fellow of 
Pembroke Hall, where he so profited by the heavenly 
dexterity of his wit, that he was had in estimation of all 
good men." Griffith's Life. After a year and some few 
months spent in the University, he attained his degree of 
Master of Arts, whereunto others are hardly admitted after 
long examination, and seven years study. But such was 
his carriage, diligence, and proficiency, that this favour, 



XV11 

though extraordinary, was thought well bestowed upon 
him, by the whole University ; and lest any man may think 
it was rather differenced to his years, than his abilities, he 
was immediately hereafter, without any interposal of time, 
chosen Fellow of Pembroke Hall. Abel Redivivus, 181. 
Whilst in this College he had an opportunity of serving 
Archbishop Whitgift, who afterwards became so great a 
persecutor of the Puritans. " But not easy at Queen's Col- 
lege, and observing probably more profession and preaching 
of the gospel in Pembroke Hall, the Master of that College 
being Bishop Ridley, and Bradford and Grindal, Fellows, 
he (Whitgift) was transplanted thither; where Bradford, 
that holy man, and Martyr, was his tutor, by whose recom- 
mendation and that of Grindal, he was made a Scholar and 
Bible Clerk by Ridley." Strype's Whitgift, i. 8. 



NOTE (G.) P. 57. 



Fox says that Bradford remained in the Tower from the 
month of August 1553, till the 22d of January, 1555. 
vol. iii. 282. And in another place, that after his last ex- 
amination on the 3 1st of January 1555, he was committed to 
the Clink and thence to the Counter, whence he did not go 
out till he was sent to Newgate vol. iii. 291. But in this 
there must be some mistake, as it would leave no interval 
for his confinement in the King's Bench, which could not be 
a very short time. The authors of the Biog. Brit. vol. ii. 547. 
attempt to correct Fox, by stating that the first examination 
of Bradford was on January 22, 1554, but neither can this 
be accurate ; for it is evident that Bradford was first com- 
mitted to the Tower in August 1553, and was never after- 



XV111 

wards let out of confinement ; and from the period of his 
first public examination in January, till his martyrdom in 
July, 1555, we have a regular account of his life almost day 
by day ; besides which Fox expressly says, vol. iii. 283. and 
which is adopted by the above authors, that he remained in 
custody from August till his first public examination, a year 
and a half, which must necessarily have been January, 
1555, and not 1554. At what period however he was 
removed from the Tower to the King's Bench, appears only 
in the incidental allusion to his effectual remonstrance with 
Bishop Farrar ; and where Fox, vol.iii 282, alleges that Brad- 
ford was brought to the King's Bench, where Farrar then 
was,on Easter Even ; it follows, therefore, that Bradford was 
confined in the King's Bench prison from Easter 1554, till 
January 30, 1555, when his last examination was finished, 
and he was committed first to the Clink, and then and finally 
to the Poultry Counter. 



NOTE (H.) P. 58. 



THIS excellent person was Bishop of St. David's in the 
reign of Edward VI. where his zeal procured him so many 
enemies, among the papists and their adherents, that he 
was persecuted even during that reign. In that of Mary, 
he was apprehended and confined with Hooper, Bradford, 
and others ; and was in an especial manner insulted and 
persecuted by the profligate Gardiner. He was sent to his 
diocese to be tried by his successor Morgan, who soon 
condemned and degraded him, and handed him over to the 
secular power to be burned; the church never imbruing 
its holy hands in blood! 



XIX 

Upon a young gentleman's lamenting to him the severity and 
painfulness of this kind of death, which he was to undergo, the 
holy prelate immediately answered, " If you see me once to stir, 
while I suffer the pains of burning, then give no credit to the truth 
of those doctrines for which I die. Undoubtedly says Fox,* so 
patiently he stood, that he never moved ; but even as he stood 
holding up his stumps, so still he continued, till one Richard 
Gravell, with a staff, dashed him upon the head, and so struck 
him down. 

He was burned on the south side of the Market Cross, at 
Carmarthen, on the 30th of March, 1555. Middletoris 
Biog. Evan. i. 346. 



NOTE (i.) P. 62. 



FRANCIS SPIRA, a Venetian lawyer of eminence in the 
sixteenth century. Being accused before the Papal Nuncio of 
favouring the tenets of the reformation, he was compelled to 
make a publick recantation of his opinions to save his life; and 
this had such an effect upon his spirits, that he was seized with 
a dreadful malady, which baffled all the aid of medicine, and 
carried him to his grave, under the most poignant agonies of 
mind, 1548. Lempriere, Voce Spira. Scot's Cont. of 
Milner, vol. i. 454. Sleidan, 475. Seckend. Comm. de 
Luth. 601. add. g., who calls him SPIERA. M'Crie's 
Hist, of the Reform, in Italy, 227. 228., from whence 
it appears that a life of this unhappy man was published in 
1550, with a preface by Calvin, 



* Fox iii. 201. 217. 



XX 



NOTE (K.) P. 65. 



BESIDES these two letters there can be little doubt but that 
No. 11 was also written to the same nobleman ; but who that 
nobleman actually was is not so easy to determine. "Among 
the rest now cast into prison, and there detained, for the pro- 
fession of the gospel, I must not forget one who was noble, and 
the more truly noble, in that he most sincerely adhered to the 
true religion in the midst of these dangers. His name I can- 
not certainly assign ; but I suspect him to have been the Lord 
Russel ; who was now,* / am sure, a prisoner. Divers letters 
were now wrote to him, to comfort and establish him : which 
was the way used then by the preachers, when they had not the 
liberty of free access. It had been my lord's desire, that letters 
of this sort might be writ to him ; declaring in what good part 
he took them. One of these letters, addressed to him by some 
pious divine unknown, probably Lever, follows. Strype, Eccl. 
Mem. vol. iii. pt. 1. 167. 

A Consolatory LETTER to a NOBLEMAN, Imprisoned for 
the PROFESSION of the GOSPEL.f 



I HAVE hard, that your lordshippe doth both desyre that men 
shuld write unto you, and that also you doo take in good part, 
be it but simple, that ys writen. Wheruppon I dyd bolden my 
self, at thys tyme, to writte unto you, though I be unknowen and 
also unmete hereunto. And for successe of my writing, I wyll 
committe that unto hym that ys able to fede without fode, and to 
comfort wher no hope of comfort ys ; as out of myn unpleasant 

* Anno. 1553. 
t Strype, Eccl. Mem. vol. iii. pt. 2. -204. 



XXI 

and unsaverie wordes, you ar lyke to fynd no consolation at all. 
But yet ys Godd's hande nor goodnes not shortened, but that 
hereby he may worke both your comfort and hys owne glorie, 
as semeth best to hys good wyll. 

What greatt and continuall thanks ar all Godds children 
bounde to give hym, for your lordshipes incredible stoutnes in 
Chryst our master hys causse ? Well, it ys to be consydered, 
that Godds woorde hath not altogether been taught and redde in 
vayne unto the nobles, all ar not gyrers and mockers, all ar not 
covetuose and ambitiouse, all ar not fleshlye and ryotuose. And 
wold God, that a fewe more were of that ernest zeale and bold- 
ness in Christ, whych you have declared your self to be : for then 
shuld not our old blyndnes thys hedlonge be tombled in upon us 
ageyne. The masse, wyth all the dreggs of Anti-Christ therein, 
wold never soo easelye nor willinglye have been receyved as yt 
ys. But what shall we saye, that even as a fewe be sincere and 
harte, so yet the major part by farre ar but holow harted and 
cold. And such, by causse they seke the light; but dyd not 
walke thereafter: and had no delyte therin, are justly bereyved 
of the same and like to be throwen into palpable darkness wyth 
Pharao and the Egyptians, and that (as it doth appeyre, accord- 
yng both to ther deserts and desyre. For God can not alwaye 
souffre dissemblers to set forth hys name neither wyll he, that hys 
wyll shuld, of the unwyllyng, be sayed to be mayntened. And 
therefore, by takyng awaye the libertie of hys worde he myndeth 
now to trye the true from the false, and shede out the gootes from 
the shepe : whych is almost alredye come to pass. But it ys not 
lyke to ende thus : for seynce that God dyd so plentifullie send 
hys gospell and word unto us, gevyng us thereto hys sacramente* 
so purely ministered ; and yet the receyvors notwithstanding, for 
the most part, lyke unto the people that ys spoken of by the 
prophet Ezechiel: what should be looked for, but that God 
indede wyll laye hys hevye hand upon us ; and that not perhaps 
so much corporallie, as by takyng away from us the spirituall 



XX11 

foode of our soules, vhych ys the ministerie of hys worde. The 
lord be merciful unto us : and yet I can not saye, to take hys 
plagues utterlye from us, (for that I thynke were not good for us) 
but rather to give us of hys grace and spirite to bear his angre, 
bycausse we have synned against him so soore. For if we shuld 
have still as we have hitherto had, we wold be as we have 
hitherto been, if we were not worse. Whereuppon that lesson, 
whych in pleintie and bryghtnes we wold not lerne, it shall be 
tryed how we wyll lerne it in scarcetie and darkness: and 
bycausse we wold not serve God the right and true wave, we 
shall prove how we can beare and away wyth the false, and 
suffre idolatre before our eyes. 

But your lordishippe must pardon me, for I have forgotten 
myself, that I am about to write to hym that is in prison ; whych 
knoweth and fealeth metelye well hereof alredye. For sure I am, 
the punishments of God upon thys hys church, wyth your owne 
synnes and infirmitees, besides other crosses and trialls, have 
somethyng 1 broken your hart wyth ernest sorow and repentance : 
so that you have more nede of Goddes promyses yn the gospell to 
comfort you, then (as I go about) to encrease your dolor and 
sorrowe, wyth puttyng you in mynd of such evells and miseries. 
And yet perchaunce even thys kynde ys unto you pleasure, as 
it was unto Jeremye, when he desired rivers full of teares, and 
a cotage in a corner, to bewayle the synnes and sorowes of hys 
people : and as he, in hys hoole book of lamentations, doth 
nothvng but lament and cry out for the desolation of hys people 
and citizens. In the whych yff he had a delyte, dovng of it for 
the materiall citie and temple, that they were made desolate ; how 
much more must teares and wepynge yssew from such, as now 
beholde the suddein mine and destruction of our Church 
of England? Wherein who doth not see a most miserable 
change. For lyght, darkness; for truth, falsehed; for Godds 
worde, mans inventions; for spiritual worshypping, corporal 
idolatrye; for godlye laws to maynteyne the truth, contempt 



XX111 

thereof; wyth more that I wyll leave to your owne meditations 
and prayers. 

And thys waye to bewayle the private and common miseries 
of our dayes, as yt hath with yt a present delectation ; so also ys 
yt the onlye and sure waye to atteyne to the comfort whych the 
promysses of Christ yn the gospell doo bringe. Even as Christ 
doth tell us, when he sayeth, Come unto me all you that 
labor and are looden, and I wyll refreshe you ; and in 
an other place also, happie are thei u)hich mourne, for thei 
shall fynde comfort. Accordyng hereunto, the prophet and 
good kyng David affyrmeth lykewyse, that such as sowe in 
teares shall reape in joye. Whereof your lordshippe in thys 
grett shyne of Godds gospell have often both hard and redde, yea 
and by experience practised it also ; but yet never so swetelye 
(I dare well saye) as now, syns thys crosse hath been layde upon 
you. For now you be in Godds propre scholehouse, wher as 
you have not so many to trouble you, as when you went wander- 
ing in the wyde wold, that ys so full of the devill's scales. Now 
you have tyme to talke unto God in your often and most serious 
prayers ; tyme also to give eare unto hym, talkyng and speakyng 
unto you out of hys worde. So that yow tast of that in dede 
now, of wych before you dyd but (as it were) here tell of. And 
that you fynd verifyed upon yourself, that the good scholer of the 
Lord, David, spekyth of hymself, in the long psalme of hys owne 
experiences, saying, It is good for me, Lord, that I have 
been in trouble, that I myght lerne thyne ordinances : 
as though he shuld have sayed; before I came into affliction, 
I hadd so many lettes and hynderaunces, that I could not entende 
unto that wych thou (0 Lord) dydst putt to me to lerne : but 
now, by these crosses, I am taught to avoyde suche inpediments, 
and to withstande such affections as drawe me from the markyng 
and kepyng of thye lawes and commandement. 

And now therefore, I beseech you, (my good lord,) waye 
wvth yourself, w ?i at a good master our heavenlye father ys unto 



XXIV 

you, that alone he 'doth make you so good a scholer, that you 
can find yn your hart, in comparison of hym and hys worde, to 
despyse all things els : as favor and fayre worde of men, honor 
both present, and hereafter to folowe, riches aud pleasure, lands 
and possessions, parents and frends, wyf and children, and what 
shall I speke of more except it be lyf itself? Thus is the Lorde 
working in you, to make you to thynke with Moses, to be in the 
affliction and danger that the children of God bee in, rather than 
to enjoye all the riches of the Egiptians. But such an one ys 
Godd, and so ys he mynded, to wynne you with kyndnes for 
ever, to bynd you unto hym in bonds of hys mercye, that never 
shall be unloosed agayne. Give honor therefore unto hym alone, 
wych hath alredye beganne and wyll continue, and make perfytt 
hys power and myght in your imbecillittee and weaknes. That 
hys name may be knowen, and hys chyldren confyrmed the 
boldlyer to stycke unto hym. As I doo not doubt, but that 
alredye yt ys come to passe in some, and how manye moe shall 
it be wrought in, wych shall here and perceyve, that you shall 
with patience and strength persevere to the ende. Be stronge 
therefore, and stablishe your conscience upon the Lord's worde. 
For what so ever ys pretended and brought in ageynst you, yet 
knowe, that to consent and receyve the masse cannot be but 
horrible, and grevouslye provoke the Lord unto angre. And to 
persuade you herein, or rather to confirme you in that wych 
alredye yow are out of doubt of, I wyll not make much a doo. 
For doo but conferre thys masse of mans makyng wyth the supper 
of Christ's institution and see what sembleablenes ys betwene 
them ; and yow shall perseyve them as lyke one to the other, both 
in substance and outward appearance, as an honeste matrone ys 
lyke to the devill, deckt in an hoores atteyryng. And yet have 
they noon other cloke or defense, save onlye to saye, that it is in 
the Lord's supper : but a man with half an eye maye judge thys 
matter easelye ynough. Howbeit, though we shuld graunt 
(wych Godd forbydd) the masse, wyth the appurtenances to be 



XXV 

tollerable, yet wych way can they bring it in to the congregation 
of idiotes and symple ? Unto whome all that in ther masse ys 
spoken ys in a straunge language. Whereas St. Paull com- 
mandeth noon to speke with tongues, onlesse he be interpreted. 
Wher as also Amen must be answered to the thanks gevyng, not 
as to a man's Q in a playe, but by one that preyeth, whereunto 
he maketh hys answer. Turn away your eyes, therfor, from 
the vanitie of their customes and conceiles, of ther tradicions and 
good ententes, of ther doctors and divines ; of ther fathers and 
fansyes, of scholemen and sophysters : for thes'ar for the doctors 
and byshoppes to beate ther braynes about. You and thei also, 
when thei have doon what they can, must be judged and quieted 
by Godds worde and scripture, or els it ys but violence and 
tyrannic. And the scripture we have hereof ys playne to hym 
that meaneth and seketh playnnes, markyng the chief ende whye 
the supper was ordeyned ; to put us in mynd, and so to confirme 
us in the Lord's death, and the lyvelye and present remem- 
braunce of the same : whereas they goo about nought els but the 
contrarye ; as ther latin service, and taking awaye of Godd's 
worde, doth most manifestlye declare. Be ware of them then; for 
ther ende ys but darkenes and blyndyng of the people, and to gett 
mens consciences to hang-e upon them. But such ys the sawce, 
that our synfull lyves undre the gospell hath sawced our self, 
and the hole church of Christ here among us wyth all. 

But now what remedie? Noon, but to humble our selfs 
under the mightie hands of the Lord. And in noo wyse wyth 
hart or wyth hande, wyth worde or wyth dede, privelye or 
openlye, to subscribe or consent to the defacyng of Christes 
kyndome, the pullyng downe of hys worde, nor settyng up of 
that wych ys disagreyng therto. For we ar hys temple both 
bodye and soule, and must beleve wyth the hart, and confess 
also with our mouth, yf we wyll be salved. As St. Paull doth 
teach. 

The Lord of all mercye, comfort, and strength geve your 



XXVI 

good Lordishipp, wyth other in the same case, thys faitli 
and boldnes to confesse Christ and hys glorye unto the ende. 
Amen. 

It is remarkable that Strype, who found the above letter in 
Fox's MSS. and with whose collection he is extremely familiar, 
should not have noticed the letter No. 19, which is in the Acts and 
Monuments : and indeed it seems quite as probable that even 
this letter was written by Bradford as by Lever. 

Strype, however, affords us no more information than the 
above, except that the Earl of Bedford was buried in 1554, of 
whose funeral he gives a minute account. Strype Eccl. Mem. 
iii. pt. 1. 335. Most of the histories, biographies, and peerages, 
allege that this nobleman died in 1558, one history alone con- 
curring with Strype that he died in 1554. 

The only individuals of this noble family to whom the letters 
in question could have been written, are either John, Lord 
Russel, the first Earl of Bedford; or Francis, Lord Russel, the 
second Earl of Bedford : and from a comparison of dates and 
the respective public employments of these two noblemen, in the 
absence of all documentary evidence, or any tradition in the 
Russel family, that either of those persons had been imprisoned 
for religion, it would seem almost certain that they were written 
to Francis, the second Earl. This idea would be confirmed by 
the titles of Nos. 19 and 20 both in Fox and Coverdale, which 
expressly state, that at the time of editing their respective works, 
the individual in question was then Earl of Bedford, whereas 
John, the first Ea?l, had been dead long before. 

The same idea is further confirmed by the following remark 
in Bishop Burnett ; " Francis, Earl of Bedford, had gone out of 
England in Queen Mary's time, and stayed some time at Zurich; 
he had expressed a true zeal for the reformation, and a particular 
regard for the divines there ; of which a letter in the collection 
gives a clear account : and upon that they wrote often to him, 



XXV11 

and pressed him vehemently to take care in the first beginning to 
have all things settled upon sure and sound foundations.* 

The letter referred to by the Bishop was written to Bullinger, 
and is as follows : 

A LETTER of the EARL of BEDFORD'S to BULLINGER, 
from VENICE.f 

Doctissimo Viro Domino Bullingero, Sacrce Theologiee 

Professori eximio Tiguri. 

Cum meus in te amor singularis, et perpetua observantia, 
qua te semper religionis causa sum prosecutus, turn tua erga me 
incredibilis humanitas, multis modis a me perspecta, cum Tiguri 
nierim, (Bullingere Doctissime) fecerunt, ut hasce literas animi 
erga te, mei pignus certissimum, et veluti tabulas obsignatus mei 
in te perpetui amoris quas extare volui, huic adolescenti ad te 
darem. In quibus ita tibi gratias ago, propter tuam humanitatem, 
ut etiam me tibi relaturum pollicear, si qua in re tibi unquam 
gratificari queam. Atque haec ita a me dicta velim accipias, 
non sicut homines qui hodie verborum quandam speciem in- 
ducunt, et officiosam formam, magis id adeo ut videantur, quam 
quod esse velint id quod prse se ferant : sed potius, ut ab animo 
sincere, et prorsus tibi devinctissimo profecta, certissimum tibi 
persuadeas. Itaque, si quid tua causa unquam facere possim, 
(quod quam exiguum sit non ignore) illud tamen, quantulum- 
cunque erit tuum erit totum. Sed de hoc satis, et fortasse super- 
que, prsesertim etiam cum adhuc mihi statutum sit, (si alia non 
intervenerint, quse inceptum iter alio evadere possint) ut vos 
obiter invisam in Angliam reversuro. Ubi id viva voce con- 
firmare, quod hie nudis verbis solummodo declarare possum. 
Juvenis, qui has literas perfert mihi, nunciavit de obitu Conradi 

* Hist. Reform, vol. iii. pt. 1. 401. Lond. 1820. 
t Ibid. pt. 2. 351. 

d 



XX VI 11 

Pellicani, (quern honoris causa nomino) quod ut audivi, sane 
quam pro eo ac debui, graviter molesteque tuli, non tarn sua, 
quam ecclesiae universes causa. Is enim hujus vitae curriculum, 
in curis, vigiliis, assiduis studiis, literatis hominibus promo vendis, 
gloriosissime confecit, ac denique moriendo quemadmodum vive- 
bat ad meliorem vitam in ccelum translatus est. At ilia multum 
desiderabit plurimis nominibus, virum absolutissimum : Itaque 
ut illius causa laetor, ita hujus vicem non possum non magno- 
pere dolere. At hujus maestitiae causam tui (ut spero et opto) 
praesentia facile mitigabit, quern ecclesiae, bonisque omnibus, 
diu incolumem Deus Opt. Max. per suam misericordiam esse 
velit. Venet. 6. calend. Maias. 

Tui Nominis Studiosissimus, 

F. BEDFORD. 

Domino Gesnero, et Domino Gualthero, meis amicissimis 
diligenter a me, quaeso, salutem dicito. 

From the whole of the above documents the probability rises, 
almost to a certainty, that Francis, the second Earl, must have been 
the individual in question; and that probability is further in- 
creased by a poem, inserted by Parke in his Heliconia,* on the 
divine virtues of Francis, Earl of Bedford, from which we extract 
the following : 

His holy zeale he builded on God's word ; 

In all his pompe the Pope he did deiie, 

When Mary reign* d, and bishops ruPde the sword, 

To cut him short, who all his acts did eye, 

A godlye feare his loyall truth did trye ; 

His service then, and large regard, therefore, 

Doth papists teach their princes to adore : 

Yet here I showe his service unconstrain'd 

I need not showe how hardly he was us'd ; 

A prisoner with the Lord Riche he remained 

* Vol. ii. 



XXIX 



Till papists had his actions all perils' d, 
Which faultless were : but he revenge refus'de ; 
He layd his wrong not to his countries' charge, 
But keaping truth, did shield her with his targe. 



Abroade he did not, as our papists doe, 
In practyse joyne their country to confounde ; 
Although his queene were to God's word a foe, 
He ne'er wrought that she should be uncrown'd : 
No, no, his faith and honour both were sound, 
Who oft' had read, and did regard it weele, 
That tyrants were no warrants to rebell. 



While fortune smil'd, he did not, like the world, 
Bye, build, scratch, crave, and gape ere gain could fall. 
Behinde his back these worldly joyes he whirl'd, 
He fixt his eyes upon God's church in thrall, 
Which he to free, set hand, heart, purse, and all : 
His bordes were spred, his gates wyde open stood. 



The idle droane, the forme that only had, 
He thought unmeet to take a holy charge ; 



This noble lord this groseness did perceive, 

That simple men judge by the outward face : 

And, therefore, did his benefices give 

To such as had both learning, gift, and grace. 

Would God the like were seen in ev'ry place ! * 



* Whetstone, Mirror &c- of Francis Earl of Bedford. Printed in 
Park's Heliconia, vol. ii. 2d tract: Longman, London, 1815. Whet- 
stone was one of the Jury who acquitted Sir Nicholas Throgmorton, 
for which offence he was committed to the Tower, April 25, 1554, and 
discharged the 12th of December following, on payment of a fine of 
,220. Fox, iii, 99. 105. 113. 



XXX 



Bohun enumerates Francis Russel, Earl of Bedford, as one of 
those members of Queen Elizabeth's new council, who had with 
great difficulty escaped the fury of the Marian persecution. It is 
remarkable that though this author gives a short character of all 
the other members of this council, he omits to do so as to this 
nobleman.* 

The improbability too that he could have been the first Earl, 
is further heightened by the consideration, that that nobleman 
held office to the day of his death under Queen Mary, evidently 
died in the Romish faith, and was buried with the rites of that 
church ; and that during that reign he frequently sat in council 
when the reformers were examined, and appears to have spoken 
with severity towards them. 

Upon having recourse however to a MS.f in Dr. Williams's 
library, in Red Cross Street, which is frequently referred to as 
of high authority, we find the following notices of both these 
noblemen in the same page, and Bradford's letters distinctly 
ascribed to John the first Earl ! 

" John Russel, Earle of Bedford, though he found respect from 
Queen Mary in the beginning of her reigne, and had a new 
patent for the great office of Lord Privy Seale, bearing date the 
3d of November, 1553 ; and was sent into Spain to attend King 
Phillip in order to his nuptials with her ; yet after discerning he 
favoured the reformers, and the purity of religion, he was in 
great danger for it the next year after. Fautor Reformat : 
for Mr. John Bradford, then a prisoner, and ready to be sacrificed 
to the flames, taketh notice of this Erie's piety in the profession 
of religion, and his danger of death thereby, and writeth a 
consolitory letter to him in the close of 1554. Datum, he 
dateth it in 1555, beginning the year Christmas. 3 Mart. 
321. 322. Oration Parliam. He said peremptorily, laying his 

* Character of Queen Elizabeth, p. 26. 
i M.S. Chronology of eminent Persons, rol. ii. p. 373. (") 



XXXI 

hand upon his sword in Queen Mary's time, that he would never 
part with abbey lands perficiend : De obitu. He died at his 
house in the Strand on the 14th of March, 1554, and was buried 
at Cheyneys in Buckinghamshire." 

"Francis, Earle of Bedford, successor to his father, John, in 
that honour, in the first of Elizabeth, was one of her privy 
council, and in the second of that Queen sent ambassador into 
France, and in the fourth of that Queen sent thither again to 
condole the death of King 1 Francis the Second; and in the 
sixth of Elizabeth made Governor of the Town and Castle 
of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Sent afterwards by the Queen into 
Scotland, and France once or oftener." 

We have not been able to trace the date or compiler of this 
M.S., but it certainly is not modern, and as no biographical 
work which we have seen gives much account of either of these 
noblemen, and their noble descendant the present Duke of 
Bedford possesses no trace of the transaction ; which is the more 
extraordinary, as upon the supposition that it was Earl Francis, 
it is almost necessary that such a dissention must have existed 
between the father and son, as would have been likely to have 
perpetuated a remembrance of the transaction in the family, it 
will probably never be ascertained. 

It is most likely that Earl Francis was amongst those exiles 
for religion, of whom Ruchat thus speaks:* 

L'An 1555. les persecutions d'Angleterre, de France, et 
de Flandres, attirerent quantite d'etrangers dans le canton de 
Berne, mais surtout dans le pays Romand. Us y furent recueillis 
par-tout avec beaucoup de charite, particulierement a Lausanne. 
C'est pourquoi les seigneurs de Berne ecrivirent aux Lausannois, 
le 15. Mars, pour les loue'r de leur charit envers leurs freres 
persecutes, et les exhorterent a continuer. 

* Ruchat's Hist, de la Reform, de la Suisse, torn. vi. 640. 



XXX11 

L'An 1557. vingt-cinq families Angloises s'etablirent a 
Lausanne. La persecution de la Reine Marie contraignit nn 
tres-grand nombre d' Anglois a se retirer dans les pays etrangers. 
Plusieurs d'entreux se refugierent en Suisse, et se disperse"rent 
dans les principales villes, a Zurich, a Berne, a Bale, a Geneve, 
a Lausanne, et a Araw. Ils furent rec.us par-tout avec beau- 
coup d'humanite. Les 25. families, dont je viens de parler, 
voulurent d'abord s'etablir dans le Duch6 de Cleves pour ne 
pas trop s'eloigner de leur patrie ; mais ils y furent mal recus 
par les gens du pays, (qui etoient ardens Lutheriens,) a cause de 
la difference de leurs sentimens, sur la presence du seigneur 
dans la S. Cene. Ils allerent done a Berne, et ayant obtenu per- 
mission de LL. EE. de s' habituer dans telle partie du canton, 
qu'ils aimeroient le mieux, ils vinrent a Lausanne, ou ils furent 
regus pour habitans perpetuels, moyennant 4 ecus par famille, 
et sous di verses conditions raisonnables ; entr* autres qu'ils se 
conformeroient a la reformation du pais. 

We have in vain searched in all the public offices for any 
trace of this transaction ; but it appears from Fox* that " the 
Lord Russel was committed to the Sheriffs of London's custody 
on the 30th of July, 1553 and that on the 20th of August 
following, the Earl of Bedford, with Lord Rich, attended at 
Paul's Cross as a guard when Watson preached, f Fox also 
informs us that there was a general discharge of prisoners on 
January 18, 1555, but he does not mention whether the Lord 
Russel was included in the number, but most probably he 
was.tf 

The reader will probably think this note too prolix and 
discursive ; but we can scarcely imagine any occupation more 
interesting and instructive, especially to the descendants from 
noble and illustrious ancestors, than to trace the actions of those 

* Vol. iii. 93. t Ibid. 94, % Ibid. 117. 



XXX111 

ancestors through the pages of history, and observe how they con- 
ducted themselves in the important and arduous stations which they 
were destined to occupy. How many shoals and quicksands 
might be avoided, and how many of the storms and tempests of 
life might be rode out in safety, if such conduct universally 
prevailed. And in particular how would the tried, the suffering, 
or the tempted Christian, be supported and encouraged in his 
various conflicts, by the recollection that such and such of his 
progenitors had fought the same fight of faith, had been faithful 
under the same trials, and had come off more than conquerors 
through the great captain of their salvation. On the other hand, how 
painful the reflection must be to be descended from pious ancestors, 
whose souls are included amongst the one hundred and forty-four 
thousand, (/?ev.vii.4.) but at the same time to feel the conscious 
conviction of inheriting the name and title only, but not one 
spark of that religion, which alone can conduct to the same state 
of blessedness ! 

We cannot close this note without expressing thanks to his 
Grace the Duke of Bedford for his kind condescension in aiding 
our humble inquiries, and for the valuable suggestions of 
Mr. Wiffen, the librarian of Woburn Abbey, whom his Grace 
authorized to facilitate our researches. 



NOTE (L.) P. 79. 



UPON this letter Fox has the following notes, and which 
although of considerable length, the editor thinks it right to 
subjoin, as the Acts and Monuments will soon become very 
scarce and are not likely to be reprinted ; and because it is of im- 



XXXI V 

portance to establish beyond controversy, what the faith of the 
reformers of the Church of England actually was. 

" For the certainty of this faith search your hearts. If you 
have it, praise the Lord ; for you are happy, and therefore cannot 
finally perish ; for then happiness were not happiness, if it could 
be lost. When you fall, the Lord, the Lord will put under you 
his hand, that you shall not lie still. But if ye feel not this 
faith, then know that predestination is too high a matter for you 
to be disputers of, until you have been better scholars in the 
school-house of repentance and justification ; which is the gram- 
mar school, wherein we must be conversant and learned ; before 
we go to the university of God's most holy predestination and 
providence. 

As touching the doctrine of election three things must be 
considered : 

First, What God's election is, and what is the cause 
thereof. 

Secondly, How God's election proceedeth in working our 
salvation. 

Thirdly, To whom God's election pertaineth, and how a man 
may be certain thereof. 

Between predestination and election, this difference there is, 
predestination is as well to the reprobate, as to the elect ; election 
pertaineth only to them that be saved. 

Predestination, in that it respecteth the reprobate, is called 
reprobation ; in that it respecteth the saved, is called election, 
and is thus defined. 

Predestination is the eternal decreement of God, purposed 
before in himself, what shall befall on all men, either to salva- 
tion or damnation. 

Election is the free mercy and grace of God in his own will, 
through faith in Christ his son, choosing and preferring to life 
such as pleased him. 



XXXV 

In this definition of election, first goeth before, the mercy 
and grace of God, as the causes thereof; whereby are excluded 
all works of the law, and merits of deserving, whether they go 
before faith or come after. So was Jacob chosen and Esau 
refused, before either of them began to work, &c. 

Secondly, In that this mercy and grace of God in this defi- 
nition is said to be free, thereby is to be noted the proceeding 
and working of God not to be bounded to any ordinary place, or to 
any succession of chair, nor to state and dignity of person, nor to 
worthiness of blood, &c. ; but all goeth by the mere will of his 
own purpose, as it is written, Spiritus ubi vult spirat, &c. 
And thus was the outward race and stock of Abraham after the 
flesh refused, which seemed to have the pre-eminence ; and 
another seed after the spirit raised up to Abraham of the stones, 
that is, of the gentiles. So was the outward temple of Jerusalem, 
and the chair of Moses, which seemed to be of price, forsaken, 
and God's chair advanced in other nations. So was tall Saul 
refused, and little David accepted ; the rich, the proud, the wise 
of this world rejected, and the word of salvation daily opened to 
the poor and miserable abjects ; the high mountains cast under, 
and the low vallies exalted, &c. 

Thirdly, Where it is added, in his own will, by this falleth 
down the free will and purpose of man, with all his actions, 
counsels, and strength of nature ; according as it is written, 
Non est volentis, neque currentis, sed miserentis Dei, 
&c. that is, it is not in him that willeth, not in him that runneth, 
but in God that showeth mercy. So we see how Israel ran long, 
and yet got nothing. The Gentiles unneth* began to set out, 
and yet got the game. So they which came at the first hour did 
labour more, and yet they which came last were rewarded with the 
first, Matt. xx. The working will of the pharisee seemed better, but 
yet the Lord's will was rather to justify the publican, Luke xviii. 
The elder son had a better will to tarry by his father, and so did 

* Hardly, with difficulty Words, i. 26. 

e 



xxxvi 



indeed ; and yet the fat calf was given to the younger son that 
ran away, Luke xv. Whereby we have to understand, how the 
matter goeth, not by the will of man, but by the will of God, as 
it pleaseth him to accept, according as it it is written : Non ex 
voluntate carnis, neque ex voluntate viri, sed ex Deo nati sunt, 
etc. ; that is, which are borne, not of the will of the flesh, nor yet 
of the will of man, but of God. Furthermore, as all then goeth 
by the will of God only, and not by the will of man; so again 
here is to be noted, that this will of God never goeth without 
faith in Christ Jesus his son. 

And therefore, fourthly, is this clause added in the definition, 
through faith in Christ his son ; which faith iri Christ to us- ward, 
maketh all together. For first, it certifieth us of God's election; 
as this epistle (No. 26) of Master Bradford doth well express. 
For whosoever will be certain of his election in God, let him 
first begin with his faith in Christ ; which if he find in him to 
stand firm, he may be sure, and nothing doubt, but that he is 
one of the number of God's elect. Secondly, the said faith, and 
nothing else, is the only condition and means whereupon God's 
mercy, grace, election, vocation, and all God's promises to sal- 
vation do stay, according to the words of St. Paul, If ye abide 
in the faith. Coloss. i. Thirdly, this faith also is the immediate 
and next cause of our justification simply, without any other 
condition annexed. For as the mercy of God, his grace, election, 
vocation, and other precedent causes, do save and justify us upon 
condition, if we believe in Christ ; so this faith only in Christ, 
and without condition, is the next and immediate cause, which, 
by God's promise worketh our justification ; according as it is 
written, Believe in the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, thou 
and thy whole house. Acts xvi. 

And thus much touching the definition of election, with the 
causes thereof declared, which you see now to be no merits, nor 
works of man, whether they go before or come after faith, but 
only the mere mercy of God through faith. For like as all they 
that be born of Adam do taste of his malediction, though they 



xxxvii 

tasted not his apple; so all they that be born of Christ, which is 
by faith, take part of the obedience of Christ, although they never 
did that obedience themselves, which was in him. Rom, v. 

Now, to the second consideration ; let us see likewise, how, 
and in what order, this election of God proceedeth in choosing- and 
electing them which he ordaineth to salvation; which order is 
this. In them that be chosen to life, first God's mercy and free 
grace bringeth forth election ; election worketh vocation or God's 
holy calling ; which vocation, through hearing, bringeth know- 
ledge and faith of Christ ; faith through promise obtaineth justi- 
fication ; justification through hope waiteth for glorification. 

Election is before time ; vocation and faith come in time ; 
justification and glorification are without end. 

Election, depending upon God's free grace and will, ex- 
cludeth all man's will, blind fortune, chance, and all peradven- 
tures. 

Vocation, standing upon God's election, excludeth all man's 
wisdom, cunning, learning, intention, power, and presumption. 

Faith in Christ, proceeding by the gift of the Holy Ghost, 
and freely justifying man, by God's promise, excludeth all other 
merits of men, all condition of deserving, and all works of the 
law, both God's law and man's law, with all other outward means 
whatsoever. 

Justification, coming freely by faith, standeth sure by 
promise, without doubt, fear, or wavering in this life. 

Glorification, pertaining only to the life to come, by hope is 
looked for. 

Grace and mercy prevent. 

Election ordaineth. 

Vocation prepareth and receiveth the word, whereby Cometh 
faith. 

Faith justifieth. 

Justification bringeth glory. 

Election is the immediate and next cause of vocation. 



xxxvm 

Vocation, which is the working of God's Spirit by the 
Word, is the immediate and next cause of faith. 

Faith is the immediate and next cause of justification. 

And this order and connection of causes is diligently to be 
observed, because of the papists, who have miserably con- 
founded and inverted this doctrine, thus teaching, that Almighty 
God, so far forth as he foreseeth man's merits before to come, so 
doth he dispense his election. Dominus prout cvjusque 
meritafore proevidet, ita dispensat electionis gratiam. 
And again, nullis precedentibu ,v meritis Doininum repen- 
dere electionis gratiam, futuris tamen concedere ; that is, 
that the Lord recompenseth the grace of election, not to any 
merits preceding; but yet granteth the same to the merits 
which follow after ; as though we had our election by our holi- 
ness that followeth after, and not rather have our holiness by 
God's election going before. 

But we, following the Scripture, say otherwise, that the only 
cause of God's election, is his own free mercy ; and the only 
cause of our justification is our faith in Christ, and nothing 
else. As for example ; first concerning election, if the question 
be asked, why was Abraham chosen, and not Nachor ? Why was 
Jacob chosen and not Esau ? Why was Moses elected, and 
Pharaoh hardened ? Why David accepted, and Saul refused ? 
Why few be chosen, and the most forsaken? It cannot be 
answered otherwise but thus ; because it was so the good will 
of God. 

In like manner touching vocation and also faith, if the 
question be asked, why this vocation and gift of faith was given to 
Cornelius the Gentile, and not to Tertullus the Jew ? Why to the 
poor, to the babes, and little ones of this world, of whom Christ 
speaketh, I thank thee father, who hast hid this from the wise, 
&c. Matt. xi. Why to the unwise, the simple abjects, and 
outcasts in this world ? of whom speaketh St. Paul, 1 Cor. i. 
Ye see your calling brethren, how not many of you, &c. Why 



XXXIX 

to the sinners, and not to the just ? Why the beggars by the 
high ways, were called, anu the bidden guests excluded ? We 
can go to no other cause, but to God's purpose and election, and 
say with Christ our Saviour : Yea, father, for so it seemeth good 
in thy sight, Luke x. 

And so for justification likewise, if the question be asked 
why the Publican was justified, and not the Pharisee? Luke 
xviii. Why Mary the sinner, and not Simon the inviter ? Luke 
xi. Why harlots and publicans go before the scribes and 
pharisees in the kingdom ? Matt. xxi. Why the son of the 
free woman was received, and the bond woman's son, being his 
elder, rejected ? Gen. xxi. Why Israel, which so long sought 
for righteousness, found it not ; and the Gentiles, which sought 
not for it, found it ? Rom. ix. We have no other cause 
hereof to render, but to say with St. Paul, because they sought 
for it by works of the law, and not by faith ; which faith, as it 
cometh not by man's will, as the papist falsely pretendeth, but 
only by the election and free gift of God ; so it only is the 
immediate cause whereunto the promise of our salvation is 
annexed, according as we read ; And therefore of faith is the 
inheritance given, as after grace, that the promise might stand 
sure to every seed. Rom. iv. Item, in the same chapter, faith, 
believing in him which justifieth the wicked, is imputed to 
righteousness. 

And thus concerning the causes of our salvation, ye see how 
faith in Christ, only and immediately, without any condition, 
doth justify us ; being so linked with God's mercy and election, 
that wheresoever election goeth before, there faith in Christ 
must needs follow after. And again, whosoever believeth in 
Christ Jesus, through the vocation of God, he must needs be 
partaker of God's election. 

Whereupon resulteth now the third note or consideration ; 
which is, to consider whether a man in this life may be certain 
of his election. To answer to which question, this first is to be 



xl 



understood ; that although our election and vocation simply 
indeed be known to God only in himself, a priori ; yet notwith- 
standing it may be known to every particular faithful man, a 
posteriori, that is, by means, which means are faith in Christ 
Jesus crucified. For so much as by faith in Christ a man is 
justified, and thereby made the child of salvation ; reason must 
needs lead the same to be then the child of election, chosen of 
God unto everlasting life. For how can a man be saved, but 
by consequence it folio weth, that he must also be elected ? 

And therefore of election it is truly said ; we must judge of 
election by that which cometh after, that is, by our faith and 
belief in Christ ; which faith, although in time it followeth after 
election, yet this is the proper and immediate cause assigned by 
the scripture, which not only justifieth us, but also certifieth us 
of this election of God. 

Whereunto likewise well agreeth this present letter of 
Master Bradford, wherein he saith ; election, albeit in God it be 
the first, yet to us it is the last opened. And therefore beginning 
first, saith he, with creation, I come from thence to redemp- 
tion and justification by faith, and so to election. Not that faith 
is the cause efficient of election, being rather the effect thereof ; 
but is to us the cause certificatory, or the cause of our certifica- 
tion, whereby we are brought to the feeling and knowledge of 
our election in Christ. For albeit that election first be certain 
in the knowledge of God ; yet in our knowledge, faith only that 
we have in Christ, is the thing that giveth to us our certificate 
and comfort of this election. 

Wherefore, whosoever desireth to be assured that he is one 
of the elect number of God, let him not climb up to Heaven to 
know ; but let him descend into himself, and there search his 
faith in Christ the Son of God ; which if he find in him not 
feigned, by the working of God's Holy Spirit accordingly ; there- 
upon let him stay, and so wrap himself wholly, both body and 
*oul, under God's general promise, and incumber his head with 



xli 



no further speculations ; knowing this, that whosoever believeth 
in him, shall not perish John iii. shall not be confounded 
Rom. ix. shall not see death John viii. shall not enter into 
judgment John v. shall have everlasting 1 life John iii. vii. 
shall be saved Matt, xxviii. Acts xvi. shall have remission of 
all his sins Acts x. shall be justified Rom. iii. Gal. ii. 
shall have floods flowing out of him of water of life John vii. 
shall never die John xi. shall be raised in the last day John 
vi. shall find rest to his soul, and shall be refreshed Matt. xi. 

Now then, forasmuch as we see faith to be the ground, 
whereupon dependeth the whole condition of our justifying, let us 
discuss in like manner what is this faith, whereof the scripture so 
much spcaketh, for the more plain understanding of the simple. 
For many kinds there be of faith ; as a man may believe every 
thing that is true, yet not every truth doth save, neither doth the 
believing of every truth justify a man. He that believeth that God 
created all things of nought, believeth truly. He that believeth that 
God is a just God, that he is omnipotent, that he is merciful, 
that he is true of promise, believeth well, and holdeth the truth. 
So he that believeth that God hath his election from the be- 
ginning, and that he also is one of the same elect and predestinate, 
hath a good belief, and thinketh well ; but yet this belief alone, 
except it be seasoned with another thing, will not serve to sal- 
vation; as it availed not the old Jews, which so thought of 
themselves, and yet think to this day, to be only God's elect 
people. 

Only the faith which availeth to salvation is that, whose 
object is the body and passion of Jesus Christ crucified : so that 
in the act of justifying, these two, faith and Christ, have a 
mutual relation, and must always concur together ; faith as the 
action which apprehendeth, Christ as the object which is appre- 
hended. 

For neither doth the passion of Christ save without faith, 
neither doth faith help, except it be in Christ ; as we see the 



xlii 

body of man sustained by bread and drink, not except the same 
be received and conveyed into the stomach ; and yet neither doth 
the receiving of every thing sustain man's body, except it be 
meat and drink, which have power to give nourishment. In like 
sort it is with faith ; for neither doth the believing of every thing 
save, but only faith in the blood of Christ ; neither again doth 
the same blood of Christ profit us, except by faith it be received. 
And as the sun being the cause of all light, shineth not but to 
them only which have eyes to see ; nor yet to them neither, unless 
they will open their eyes to receive the light ; so the passion of 
Christ is the efficient cause of salvation ; but faith is the condition, 
whereby the said passion is to us effectual. 

And that is the cause why we say with the scripture, that 
faith only justifieth us ; not excluding thereby all other external 
causes that go before faith, as grace, mercy, election, vocation, 
the death of Christ, &c. all which be external causes, working 
our salvation through faith. But when we say that faith only 
justifieth us, the meaning thereof is this ; that of all internal 
actions, motions, or operations in man, given to him of God ; there 
is none other that contenteth and pleaseth God, or standeth 
before his judgment, or can help any thing to the justifying of 
man before him, but only this one action of faith in Jesus 
Christ the Son of God. 

For although the action of praying, fasting, alms, patience, 
charity, repentance, the fear and love of God, be high gifts in 
man, and not of man, given of God to man, yet be none of all 
these actions in man imputed of God to salvation ; but only this 
one action of faith in man, upon Christ Jesus the Son of God. 
Not that the action itself of believing, as it is a quality in man, 
doth so deserve, but because it taketh that dignity of the 
object. For as I said, the act of justifying faith, as it is an 
action of man, is not to be considered alone, but must ever go 
with his object, and taketh his virtue thereof. Like as the 
looking up of the old Israelites, did not of itself procure any 



xliii 

health unto them, but the promise made in the object, which 
was the brazen serpent, whereupon they looked, gave them 
health by their looking up. Even so, after like sort, are we saved 
by our faith and spiritual looking up to the body of Christ 
crucified ; which faith to define is this. 

To believe Jesus Christ to be the Son of the living God, 
sent into this world, by his death to satisfy for our sins, and so 
to receive the same. 

And thus much touching election and faith, with the order 
and explication of the causes necessary to be considered in our 
salvation, whereby may appear, how far the pretended Catholics, 
do swerve from the right mind of the scriptures. For where the 
scriptures in declaring the causes of salvation, do send us only 
to faith, as the only condition whereby these causes have their 
working ; these catholics do quite leave out faith, and instead 
thereof place in other conditions of doings, merits, will- works, 
pardons, masses, and especially auricular confessions, with 
penance and satisfaction for our sins, &c. 

With reference to these doctrines, our own minds have often 
been impressed with a peculiar view of them, which we have 
never seen expressed by any writer till very lately. "Neverthe- 
less, I wish we had a better word than necessity, which is com- 
monly made use of in this dispute, for it conveys to the under- 
standing an idea of restraint, which is totally contrary to the act 
of choosing." LUTHER apud Milner's Ch. Hist. v. 280 
Edit. 1810. Upon which Mr. John Scott, reasoning upon the 
Common Places of Melancthon, remarks as follows. " For my 
own part, I confess, I choose to suspend my judgment upon 
points so far ' too high' for us ; where much, that seems to 
be established by incontrovertible reasoning, and countenanced 
by scriptural authority, appears also to us, with our limited 
powers, to be incapable of being reconciled with what is alike 
the dictate of nature and common sense, and the clear doctrine 
of divine revelation. But as for those who revolt, with contempt 

f 



xliv 

and indignation, at the mention of any such necessity as stated 
above, it may be worth while to learn a lesson of humility, by 
trying to disentangle themselves from the obnoxious doctrine, 
as following, at one, simple, unavoidable step, from the divine 
prescience alone, independently of any predestination. 
Thus, after all that can be said, it can never be disproved, 
that what is certainly foreseen must certainly come to pass : but 
future events are so foreseen by Almighty God as both 
prophecy and the direct testimony of scripture demonstrate : 
therefore they are certain, or, in the sense explained, 
necessary. I say again, I state not this as my own unhe- 
sitating conclusion, I only here throw it out as an exercise for 
those, who imagine their own scheme free from such 
difficulties.'* Continuation of Milner, ii. 197, Nota. 



NOTE (M.) p. 92. 

In the letters from 21 to 28 inclusive, we have brought 
together the principal observations of this holy martyr upon the 
subject of predestination, the doctrines of free will, election, &c. 
to which we have subjoined the opinion of the venerable martyr- 
ologist, Fox, and that for the purpose of shewing, what the real 
views of the English reformers were upon these important 
questions. And we feel it necessary here to notice some remarks 
of Dr. Wordsworth, where he seems to have travelled out of his 
way, in order to cast a slur upon the memory of Bradford. 

In a note upon the Life of Bishop Ridley,* Dr. W. quoting a 
passage from one of the Bishop's letters, observes, " It is not 
unlikely that Ridley offered this remark to Bradford's consider- 
ation, by way of moderating his zeal respecting some disputes 
on free will and predestination, which had arisen among the 

* Eccl. Biog. vol. iii. 361. 



xlv 

Protestant prisoners, in consequence of Cole, Harry Hart, and a 
few other obscure individuals, having- imbibed and propagated 
Pelagian notions. Ridley could not sympathise with Bradford's 
warmth on this subject (not because he did not think 
Bradford's sentiments, upon the whole right and true, 
and Cole's, 8?c. wrong and false,} but from thinking- 
Bradford overrated the importance of the controversy, and 
the influence of his adversaries, by which coldness, it is plain 
that Bradford was a little piqued." 

And in another note upon the same life* Dr. V. adds, " His 
(Ridley's) words to Bradford, in reference to the predestinarian 
controversy, cannot be too often inculcated, and deserve to be 
written in letters of gold ; and then quotes in small capitals, the 
words we have inserted in a corresponding type, in the first letter 
subjoined, and remarking, It is greatly to be lamented, that the 
notes which he (Ridley) had drawn up on this subject were not 
printed." 

Coverdale gives eight letters from Ridley to Bradford, of 
which Dr. W. has published only four but taking the whole 
together, it seems evident that nothing but the most cordial 
sympathy and approbation existed between them. The following 
are two of those omitted by Dr. W. and the remaining two we 
shall most likely have occasion to insert in the sequel. 

TO MASTER BRADFORD.t 

Dearly beloved brother, blessed be God our Heavenly Father, 
for his manifold and innumerable mercies towards us, and 
blessed might he be that hath spared us thus long together, that 
each one of us may bless his mercy and clemency in other unto 
this day, above the expectation and hope of any worldly 
appearance. 

* Vol. iii. 372. t Cov. 63. N 



xlvi 

Whereas you write of the outrageous rule, that satan our 
ghostly enemy beareth abroad in the world ; whereby he stirreth 
and raiseth so pestilent and heinous heresies, as some to deny 
the blessed Trinity, some the divinity of our Saviour Christ, 
some the divinity of the Holy Ghost, some the baptism of infants, 
some original sin, and to be infected with the errors of the 
Pelagians, and to rebaptise those that have been baptised with 
Christ's baptism already ; alas, Sir, this doth declare this time 
and these days to be wicked indeed. But what can we look for 
else of satan here and of his ministers, but to do the worst that 
they can, so far forth as God shall or will suffer them. 

And now methinks he is less to be marvelled at at this 
time, if he bestir him by all manner of means, that the truth 
indeed do take no place. For he seeth now, blessed be God, that 
some go about in deed and in truth, not trifling, but with the 
loss of all that they are able to lose in this world, goods, lands, 
name, fame, and life also ; to set forth God's word and his truth, 
and by God's grace shall do, and abide in the same unto the end; 
now therefore it is time to bestir him I trow. 

And as for the diversity of errors, what careth he though 
one be never so contrary to another ? He reckoneth all, and so 
he may, to be his, whosoever prevail, so that truth prevail not. 
Nevertheless, good brother, I suppose that the universal plague 
is most dangerous which at this day is, alas, fostered and master- 
fully holden up by wit, worldly policy, multitude of people, 
power, and all worldly means. As for other the Devil's gal- 
troppes, that he casteth in our ways by some of his busy headed 
yonkers, I trust they shall never be able to do the multitude 
so great harm. For, blessed be God, these heresies before time 
when satan by his servants hath been about to broach them, have 
by God's servants already been so sharply and truly confounded, 
that the multitude was never infected with them ; or else where 
they have been infected, they are healed again, that now the peril 
is not so great. 



xlvii 

And where you say that if your request had been heard, 
things, you think, had been in better case than they be ;* know 
you that concerning the matter you mean, I have in Latin drawn 
out the places of the scriptures, and upon the same have noted 
what I can for the time. SIR, IN THOSE MATTERS I AM so 

FEARFUL, THAT 1 DARE NOT SPEAK FARTHER, YEA ALMOST 
NONE OTHERWISE THAN THE VERY TEXT DOTH, AS IT WERE, 
LEAD ME BY THE HAND.f 

And where you exhort us to help, &c. ; Lord what is else 
in this world that we now should list to do ? I bless my 
Lord God I never, as methinketh, had more nor better leisure to 
be occupied with my pen in such things as I can do to set forth, 
when they may come to light, God's glory. And I bless my Lord 
God through Jesus Christ, my heart and my work are therein 
occupied, not so fully and perfectly as I would, but yet so as I 
bless God for the same. 

Farewell, dear brother, the messenger tarrieth and I may not 
now be longer with you. The Lord, I trust Verily, shall bring us 
thither, where we shall, each one with other in Christ our 
Saviour, rejoice and be merry everlastingly. 

Your Brother in Christ, 

N. R. 

TO MASTER BRADFORD.$ 

Gratiam et pacem, &c. Although I ween it is not yet three 
days ago, since you heard from me, yet having such a messenger 
and so diversely enforced, 1 cannot but say something to you. 



* P. 70. 

t He meaneth here the matter of God's election, whereof he after- 
wards wrote a godly and comfortable treatise, remaining yet in the hands 
of some, and hereafter shall come to light, if God so will. Co?. 65. 
Cov.69. 



xlviii 

What ? shall I thank you for your golden token ? What mean 
you man ? Do you not know that we have victum et amictum 
e penario regio ? I was so moved with your token* iha' I 
commanded it straightway to be had to Bocardo which is our 
common jail. I am right glad of Austin's^ return, for I was, as 
I told you, careful for him. Blessed be God that all is well. I 
have seen what he brought from you, and shortly surveyed the 
whole, but in such celerity, that other also might see the same 
before Austin's return ; so that I noted nothing but a confused 
sum of the matter, and as yet what the rest have done, I can '.ell 
nothing at all, and it was at the writing hereof in their hands. 
To your request, and Austin's earnest demand of the same, I have 
answered himjl in a brief letter, and yet he halh replied again; 
but he must go without any further answer of me for this time. 
I have told Austin, that I for my part, as I can and may for my 
tardity and dulness, will think of the matter. We are so now 
ordered and straitly watched, that scarcely our servants dare 
do any thing for us ; so much talk and so many tales, as is. said, 
are told of us abroad. One of us cannot easily nor shortly be of 
knowledge of another's mind, and you know I am youngest many 
ways. Austin's persuasions may do more wiih me in that I may 
do conveniently in this matter, armed with your earnest 
and zealous letters,^ than any rhetorick either of Tully or 
Demosthenes, I insure you thereof. 

* This token vras a piece of gold, which Bradford had sent to Ridley, 
but which the latter sent to relieve his brother Shipside, prisoner in 
Bocardo. Cov. 69. 

f Augustine Beraher. 

J He meaneth here Harry Hart, a froward free-will man, who had 
written a treatise against God's free election, which Bradford sent to 
M.Ridley, Cranmer, and Latimer to peruse, desiring M- Ridley to 
answer the same. Cov. 7U. 

How must the shades of these excellent men, who thus honoured 
and preferred each other to himself, look down with astonishment and 



xlix 

With us it is said, that M. Grymbold* was adjudged to be 
hanged, drawn, and quartered ; of whom we hear now, that he 
is at liberty. So we heard of late, that M. Hooper was hanged, 
drawn, and quartered indeed, not for heresy but for treason, but 
blessed be God, we hear now that all is true in like. False 
tongues will not cease to lie, and mischievous hearts to imagine 
the worst. Farewell in Christ, and token for token now I send 
you not; but know this, that, as it is told me, I have two scarlet 
gowns ih&t escaped, I cannot tell how, in the spoil, whereof you 
$hall have your part. Commend me to all our brethren, and 
your fellow prisoners in the Lord. 

Your's in Christ, 

N. R. 

The venerable martyrologist has also recorded another 
circumstance, which shews that Ridley neither claimed nor 
possessed that superiority, in respect of prudence and discretion, 
over Bradford ; which Dr. Wordsworth takes so much pains to 
establish 'Master Ridley, late Bishop of London, being 
prisoner in the Tower, had there given him the liberty of the 
same, to prove belike whether he would go to Mass or no, 
WHICH ONCE HE DID. And Master Bradford, being there 
prisoner also the same time,f and hearing thereof, taketh his 

disgust upon the puny biographer, who, 200 years after they both have 
been in glory, thus exerts himself to exalt the character and notions of 

either, at the expense of his venerated brother ? 
i 

* He was chaplain to Ridley. Strype's Cran. 492. but secretly 
recanted, and acted as a spy on the imprisoned professors of the gos- 
pel. Strype, Eccl. Mem. i. 229. Fox iii. 136- 139- 

t The Tower being so full, our Archbishop Cranmer, Ridley, Lari- 
mer, and Bradford were all thrust together into one chamber, which, 
however inconvenient it were, yet they were very glad to be together ; 
that they might have thi opportunity of conferring with one another, 
and establishing one another together. There they read over the New 
Testament together with great deliberation and study ; on purpose to 



1 

pen and ink, and writeth to him an effectual letter to persuade 
him from the same, and sheweth the occasion that thereby 
should ensue, which, God be honoured, did M. Ridley no 
little good ; for he repented his fact therein, as he himself 
maketh mention, writing again in the latter end of the book of 
Marcus Antonius, which he sent to M. Bradford, and never 
after that polluted himself with that filthy dress of anti- 
christian service.' Fox, iii. 997.* 

Notwithstanding all this Ridley was a giant, for there were 
giants in those days, and we may imagine nothing could more 
excite the indignation of the spirit of that holy martyr, if in 
their blessed abodes they could be susceptible of such feelings, 
than to see' his pigmy successors attempt to put a tinsel crown 
upon his head, at the expense of his brother martyr, and 
beloved friend for the gospel sake. 

As to Ridley himself, every true Protestant claims an equal 
interest in his character and credit, whether episcopalian or non 
episcopalian ; and divested of that narrow sectarianism which 
almost invariably characterises the genuine hierarehist,h>oks up 
to him with admiration and gratitude willingly and gladly there- 
see if there were any thing that might favour that popish doctrine of a 
corporeal presence. But, after all, they could find no presence but a 
spiritual one, northat the mass was any sacrifice for sin. But they found in 
that holy book that the sacrifice of Christ upon the cross was perfect, 
holy, and good ; and that God did require none other, nor that it should 
be ever done again; as Latimer, one of the four, related in protestation 
given to Watson. Strype's Cranmer, vol. i. 463. 

* Dr. Wordsworth, iii. 322, and Mr. Todd in his Life of Cranmer, 
vol. ii. 381, do not give credit to this statement but for no other 
reason than that Fox, as they allege^ r elates precisely the same particulars 
respecting Bradford and Bishop Ferrar. But that is not so, for the two 
anecdotes, as related by the martyrologist, are essentially distinct in the 
two important particulars of time and circumstances. Acts and Mon. 
vol. iii. 280. 997. Besides which Fox refers to a document in which 
Ridley had expressly acknowledged the fact. 



li 

fore we add the following. ' Master Ridley, was a man so- 
reverenced for his learning and knowledge in the scripture* 
that even his very enemies have reported him to have been an 
excellent clerk, whose life, if it might have been redeemed 
with the sum of 10,000 marks, yea, 1000, the Lord Dacre of 
the North, being his kinsman, would have given it to Queen 
Mary, rather than he should have been burned. And yet was 
she so unmerciful, for all his gentleness in King Edward's days* 
that it would not be granted for any suit that could be made* 
Oh, that she had remembered his labour for her to King 
Edward VI. with Cranmer, before mentioned,* in such sort that 
even she had yielded but the reward of a publican Matt. v. 
then had the earth not so been bereft of him as it was ; let the 
Lord forgive us our sins which were the cause thereof, and 
grant that we never so provoke his anger again, if it be 
his blessed will Amen.' Fox iii. 996. Which Amen we 
most heartily repeat! 

As Dr. W. admits that Bishop Ridley thought Bradford's 
sentiments, upon the whole, were right and true, and the 
opposite opinions wrong and false ; we do not easily discover 
the materiality of discussing which of them attached most 
importance to the controversy in question. Assuming that Ridley 
thought it of less importance than Bradford, it does not follow 
that the former was right ; and the time might come when 
Ridley, in the same manner as he had seen reason to prefer 
Hooper's opinion to his own, in the matter of the habits, might 
also see reason to prefer Bradford's opinion to his own, in respect 
of the importance of the doctrine in question. 

That Ridley actually did so seems very probable ; for from 
the last of these letters (very remarkably omitted by 
Dr. W.) it appears that he had himself written to Hart; and 



* Fox ii. 788 iii, 16. 



lii 

from Coverdale's note upon the former of these letters, it is 
evident that it was in compliance with Bradford's earnest re- 
monstrance to take up the subject, he wrote the very notes or 
treatise which Dr. W. wishes so much were extant. This looks 
vastly more like yielding to the opinions of Bradford, than 
having the intention to censure or restrain him. And how far, 
in point of fact, Bradford was in the right, has since become but 
too evident, from the state into which the clergy of the Church 
of England fell soon afterwards, and continued for the 
most part till the middle of the last century. Dr. W. and many 
others are very fond of clothing themselves with the mantles of 
Cranmer, Ridley, and their brethren but how is it they can 
honestly do so, whilst admitting that the reformers believed in 
the doctrines of predestination, election, &c. they themselves 
not only fail in preaching the same doctrines, but seldom let 
slip an opportunity of treating them with ridicule and contempt. 
Alas, alas, how many bishops have we had since the period at 
which these men fell, who have been worthy to wear their 
mantles ! Upon this subject see Bishop Tomline's Refutation of 
Calvinism, triumphantly refuted by the late Rev. Thos. Scott, 
of Aston Sandford ; by the late Rev. Dr. Williams, of Rotherham ; 
and more pointedly still by Mr. John Allen, of Madras House, 
Hackney, in the Layman's Letter. London, 1812, Gale and 
Curtis. See also the trimming and cautious spirit but too fre- 
quently evinced upon this subject, by some who ought to know 
and act better, exposed in Haeresis Mastix, London, 1824 ; in 
which a certain Reverend Dean, received a tolerably severe 
castigation from one of his own brethren, respecting the case 
of Dr. Malan at Geneva. 

With whatever caution Ridley might express himself 
upon this subject, and we agree perfectly that no man can 
adhere too closely to scriptural expressions, when treating of this 
or any other Christian doctrine ; it does not seem probable that 
any material difference existed between them, for Coverdale, 



liii 

who evidently approved of the sentiments of Bradford, as 
appears by his notes on No. 27, and which was most probably the 
very paper which Bradford mentions in No. 28 to have sent to 
Ridley describes Ridley's works in terms of no less approba- 
tion, viz : as a godly and comfortable treatise, p. 65. and as a 
learned and godly treatise, p. 359 so that whilst we cordially 
agree with Dr. W. that it is greatly to be lamented that the notes 
which Ridley had drawn up on this subject were not printed 
yet it is pretty evident what his opinions were, and what the 
result will be if they should ever be discovered. 

It is notorious that the catechism of Edward VI. was the 
production of Cranmer, Ridley, and others, in which amongst 
other matters is the following. " As many as are in this 
faith steadfast, were forechosen, predestinated, and 
appointed to everlasting life, before the world was 
made Now as to this catechism Ridley thus expresses him- 
self " I hear say that the catechism which was lately set forth 
in the English tongue, is now in every pulpit condemned Oh 
devilish malice ! Satan could not longer suffer, that so great 
light should be spread abroad in the world." Layman's 
Letter, p. 90.* And in the next reign we have the following 
declaration from that great ornament and light of the English 
Church, Bishop Jewell. " But as touching the freedom of will 
and power of ourselves, we say with St. Augustin, O evil is free- 
will without God man misusing his free will, spilt both him- 
self, and his will ; what do men so much presume of the possi- 

* The same author, p. 89. shews also, that Archbishop Cranmer 
offered to justify these doctrines in this very Catechism, as indeed well 
he might ; and yet Mr. Todd strives hard to deliver this holy primate 
from the hydra of Calvinism. Vol. ii. 61. 300. It is truly melancholy 
to see how prejudice and a desire to support a system, can warp the 
judgment and extinguish a spirit of candour. How useful and highly 
important a work might Mr. Todd have made his Life of Cranmer, at this 
period, if he could have divested himself of a sectarian spirit. 



liv 



bility of nature ? It is wounded, it is mangled, it is troubled, it 
is lost. It behoveth us rather truly to confess it, than falsely to 
defend it. Free will, once made thrall, availeth now nothing 
but to sin that we live well, that we understand right, we have 
it of God. Of ourselves we have nothing 1 , but only sin, that is 
within us. The better to clear this whole case, I thought it 
good to use the more words. Thus may we learn to know 
ourselves, and humbly to confess our imperfection, and to give the 
whole glory to God." Defence of the Apology of the 
Church of England, p. 15, 

In confirmation of the views of Bradford the signatures of 
Bishop Ferrar, Taylor, and Philpot, to No. 28, expressly 
testify their approbation as well to the doctrine as to the 
importance of enforcing it, and although we would not 
positively assert of these doctrines, what Luther did of that of 
justification by faith alone, that they are the criteria vel stantis 
vel cadentis ecclesiae, we may venture to pronounce that just in 
that proportion in which they are preached and felt, does a pro- 
fessing church maintain its vital godliness and influential activity. 

The learned and accurate Strype views the conduct of 
Bradford in a very different light from Dr. W. In remarking 
upon No. 28, he says, " They, the freewillers, were men of 
strict and holy lives, but very hot in their opinions, and disputa- 
tious, and unquiet. Divers of them were in the King's Bench, 
where Bradford, and many other gospellers were ; many whereof 
by their conferences, they gained to their own persuasion. 
Bradford had much discourse with them. The name of their 
chief man was Harry Hart ; who had writ something in defence 
of his doctrine. Trew and Abingdon were teachers also among 
them ; Kemp, Gybson f and Chamberlain, were others, They 
ran their notions as high as Pelagians did, and valued no 
learning ; and the writings and authority of the learned, they 
utterly rejected and despised. Bradford was apprehensive that 
might do great harm in the church, and therefore out of 



Iv 

prison wrote a letter to Cranmer, &c. (No. 28) and with him 
joined Bishop Ferrar, Taylor, and Philpot, (as we have seen.) 
He speaks of this letter as worthy to be read, and then remarks, 
* Upon this occasion Ridley wrote a treatise of God's election 
and predestination, and Bradford wrote another upon the same 
subject ; and sent it to those three fathers in Oxford, for their 
approbation; and theirs being obtained, the rest of the 
eminent divines, in and about London, were ready to sign it 
also." Strype's Cranmer, i. 502. The same author, after 
quoting- some passages from that writer, says, " By Bradford's 
pains and diligence he gained some from their errors; and 
particularly one Skelthorp ; for whom in a letter to Careless,* 
he thanked God, who gave this man to see the truth at the 
length, and to give place to it ; hoping that he would be so 
heedy in all his conversation, that his old acquaintance might, 
thereby think themselves gone astray.' Strype's Cranmer, 
vol. i. 503. This writer, who evidently had access to many MS. 
treasures relating to the Marian sera, seems never to have 
dreamed that Ridley thought Bradford wrong, in endeavouring 
to root out the springing heresy ; or that it was probable any 
difference would be found between the two treatises of these 
venerable coadjutors, in the great work of the reformation. And 
that any coldness or pique on the one hand, or disposition to 
censure on the other, existed between these truly Christian 
martyrs, is completely repudiated by the general contents and 
expressions of the last of the above letters of Ridley, as well as 
by the two others omitted by Dr. W. which we shall most 
likely have occasion to insert in the sequel. 

Every pious protestant claims the holy martyrs Cranmer, 
Ridley, Latimer, Hooper, Bradford, and the rest as their com- 
mon property. If Cranmer himself were now to revisit his 
native country, and make a progress throughout our various 

* Cov. 373. 



Ivi 

religions communities, what may it be supposed would his 
principal inquiry be ? My friend do you wear the habits, the 
square cap, or the surplice ? Do you kneel at the altar ? &c. 
&c. No, surely, but would it not rather be Are you a 
believer in the Lord Jesus Christ? Is he to you the chief 
among ten thousand and the altogether lovely? Have you 
embraced him as your only saviour and friend ? and are you 
united to him by a lively faith ? Are you one of the living 
stones fitly framed together, and built up unto him as your chief 
head ? And who would these holy men acknowledge as their 
brethren and kindred in Christ Jesus those only who had sub- 
scribed to the act of uniformity, and were zealous defenders of 
the national hierarchy, although peradventure wholly destitute of 
the life and spirit of godliness ; or the humble and sincere followers 
of the lamb, in whatever communion they might be found ? 

It was well said by the late Dr. Buchanan, to some remark 
about the different societies who had sent out missionaries to the 
East, that a foreign mission was the best possible school to 
cure bigotry for that placed in the middle of a moral wil- 
derness, and surrounded by the prowling beasts of prey, of 
pagan and popish idolatry, and mahomedan imposture; they 
were glad enough to hail any pious missionary as a friend and a 
brother, without stopping to enquire whether he belonged to this 
church or to that chapel whether he worshipped with or without 
a liturgy or whether he wore a gown or surplice, or preached 
and prayed without either ! 

Never will the death blow be given to popery, infidelity, and 
formalism in this country, till the truly pious of all the ortho- 
dox denominations consent to wave their minor differences to 
abstain from absurd, ridiculous, and sectarian recrimination 
chiefly founded in ignorance* and cordially embrace each 

* Few readers perhaps wi!l credit the writer when he asserts, that not 
many years since, a distinguished and very amiable prelate now living, so 



Ivii 

other as friends of their common saviour and redeemer; travelling 
together to those eternal abodes of blessedness, where all such 
unscriptural differences will be done away for ever. 

A conviction of the importance of this subject, induced the 
editor some years since, to establish a society for that express 
object, under the name of THE CHRISTIAN INSTITUTE and 
the same conviction leads him to hope, that the republication of 
the address, delivered at the formation of that society, at the end 
of this volume, will be excused. 

" And I purposely mention his moderation, and likewise 
adventure to commend him for it; notwithstanding that this 
VIRTUE, so much esteemed and magnified by wise men in all 
ages, hath of late been declaimed against with so much zeal and 
fierceness, and yet with that good grace and confidence, as if it 
were not only no VIRTUE, but even the sum and abridgement of 
all VICES. I say, notwithstanding all this, I am still of the old 
opinion that moderation is a VIRTUE, and one of the peculiar 
ornaments and advantages of the excellent constitution of our 
church ; and must at last be the temper of her members, 
especially the clergy, if ever we seriously intend the firm establish- 
ment of this church, and do not industriously design by 
cherishing heats and divisions among ourselves, to let in popery 
at these breaches" Abp. Tillotson's preface to Bp. Wil- 
kins's Sermons. London, 1682. 



NOTE (N.) P. 99. 

HOOPER, Ferrar, Taylor, Philpot, and Bradford consulted 
amongst themselves whether they should go to dispute at Oxford, 

far allowed his prejudices against dissenters to mislead his judgment, as 
to apply, in the editor's hearing, the chapter in Grotius de Veritate, 
entitled " De indifferentismo" which every tyro knows relates only to 
indifference to religion and divine things in general, to a latitudinarian 
feeling on the subject of church government ! 



hiii 

and resolved to decline it, unless they might have indifferent 
judges. And for this purpose Bradford sent a private and trusty 
messenger to Oxford, to Ridley, to have his, and his two fellows, 
their judgment concerning this matter. They were at this time 
all separated from one another ; so though Ridley signified this 
in a letter to Cranmer, yet he could only give his own sense. 
Strype's Cranmer, vol. 1. 489. See Note (0). 



NOTE (o.) P. 101. 

FAR be it from us to attempt to drepreciate the merit or 
worth of that distinguished luminary of the English Reforma- 
tion, Bishop Ridley, whose mantle we would rather lament has 
fallen upon so few of his successors ; but justice to the memory of 
Bradford, and to the task we have undertaken, imposes upon us 
the duty of shewing, that Dr. Wordsworth has no grounds for 
endeavouring to draw a parallel between them, to the prejudice 
of the latter. 

We have seen Bradford frequently* enjoining absolute 
obedience to Queen Mary ; and it appears clear that he took no 
part in the rebellion in favour of Lady Jane Gray, and here he 
expressly applauds Sir James Hales for refusing to subscribe 
King Edward's will, made for the deprivation of his sister Mary. 

From the document in Burnet,f it appears that Ridley 
did not subscribe that will, but perhaps the only reason 
was, because he was not a privy counsellor ; for imme- 
diately after Lady Jane had been proclaimed Queen, we 
find him in a sermon preached at Paul's Cross, declaring 
there his mind to the people, as touching the Lady Mary, and 
dissuading them, alleging there the incommodities and incon- 

* PP. 38. 96. 99. 
t Hist. Refor. vol. vi. p. 275. 



lix 



veniencies which might rise by receiving her to be their 
Queen ; prophesying 1 , as it were before, that which after came to 
pass, that she would bring in foreign power to reign over them ; 
besides the subverting also of the Christian religion then 
already established; shewing moreover that the same Mary 
being in his diocese ; he, according to his duty, being then her 
ordinary, had travailed much with her to reduce her to this 
religion ; and notwithstanding in all other points of civility, 
she shewed herself gentle and tractable ; yet in matters that 
concerned true faith and doctrine, she shewed herself so stiff 
and obstinate, that there was no other hope of her to be con- 
ceived, but to disturb and overturn all that, which with so great 
labours, had been confirmed and planted by her brother afore. 
Shortly after this sermon Queen Mary was proclaimed ; where- 
upon Ridley speedily repairing to Fremingham to salute her, 
had such cold welcome there, that being despoiled of all his 
dignity, he was- sent back upon a lame halting horse to the 
Tower.' Fox iii. 16. 



NOTE (P.) P. 104. 

SIR James Hales was one of the Judges of the Court of 
Common Pleas in the reigns of Henry VIII. and Edward VI. ; 
and, on the accession of Mary, had refused to join in the 
proceedings for raising Lady Jane Gray to the throne. But 
having afterwards, in his judicial character, asserted that it was 
unlawful to celebrate the mass, the queen not having as yet 
reinstated it, he was had up before Gardiner, who behaved to him 
most infamously, and finally committed him to prison. Whilst 
there he was wrought upon by the artifices of the papists, and 
in consequence, became so wretched in his mind that he 
attempted to cut his throat, but was prevented by his own 
servant. The letter, No. 30, was written to him whilst in Bread 

h 



Ix 

Street Compter ; but whether before or after this rash attempt is 
not very clear probably afterwards, and it is melancholy to 
reflect how little good effect it produced ; for the papists inferring 
they had made sure of him, set him at liberty ; soon after which 
he drowned himself in very shallow water upon his own estate 
at Tenterden, in Kent. Gardiner, and the papists generally, 
charged this act of suicide upon the tendency of the doctrines of 
grace, or the new religion as it was called, to desperation ; to repel 
which, and to shew that they proceeded from remorse and the 
tings of a wounded conscience at allowing himself to be seduced 
by the papists, Bishop Hooper published a treatise which 
has been preserved by Strype. Eccl. Mem. iii. pt. 1. 274. 
pt.2. 258. No. xxiv. Words. iu.2Q6.Burnet, ii.l. 386. 
Soames, iv. 132. Fox, iii. 19. 96. 185. who also has some 
useful observations upon the subject. The whole of which 
indeed, with Hooper's treatise, we should have inserted, but from 
the fear of extending these notes to too great a length, as we 
have yet some heavy matter to come which is still more scarce, 
and much too curious to be omitted. 



NOTE (Q.) P. 109. 

THIS Lady Vane was a special nurse and great supporter, to 
her power, of the godly saints, who were imprisoned in Queen 
Mary's time ; to whom divers letters of Philpot, Careless, Tra- 
herne, Rose, and others, as well as Bradford, were written ; 
wherein they render unto her most grateful thanks for her ex- 
ceeding goodness towards them, with their singular commenda- 
tion and testimony; also of her Christian zeal towards God's 
afflicted prisoners, and to the verity of his gospel. She died in 
Oldbourne, in the year 1568, whose end was more like a sleep 
than any death; so quietly and meekly she deceased and departed 



Ixi 

hence in the Lord. Fox, iii. 331. She seems to have been the 
widow of Sir Ralph Vane, who was beheaded with the Duke of 
Somerset, in the year 1552. Strype Eccl. Mem. iii. 226. 



NOTE (R.) P. 161. 

THE extract which Fox gives* of this very scarce and 
extraordinary tract of Gardiner's, with its no less extraordinary 
preface by Bonner, had often excited in our minds a great 
desire to see the originals ; and that desire was considerably 
increased by the frequent appeal to it by almost all the reformersf 
upon their examinations ; and the evident chagrin and mortifi- 
cation discovered by Gardiner, whenever it was alluded to. 
And perhaps the reader, who will now have the opportunity of 
perusing both these performances, will not be so much surprised, 
that the papists should have exerted themselves to suppress and 
destroy them and their consequent scarcity,^ as they will that 
apologists of real learning and professed liberality, should be 
found in the 19th century for men, who after publishing such 
opinions as the tract and preface in question contain, could 
practise so much cruelty and insolence towards their fellow 
creatures, for professing and retaining the same opinions. 

All exertions to discover a copy of this tract or preface 
were fruitless, till having obtained a copy of a collection of 

* Acts and Mon. ii. 338. 

+ Taylor, Fox iii. 169. Saunders, Fox iii. 134. Mr. Todd well 
remarks, " The books exposed his fellow tyrant and himself to just 
ridicule and censure. The first reformed preachers that were brought 
before him, scrupled not to remind him of that which, in the time of 
Henry VIII., both he and Bonner had there taught with such consum- 
mate impudence," Life of Cranmer ii. 418. 

J Todd's Defence of Cranmer, Ii. 



Ixii 

curious tracts, relating to the popish controversy, almost equally 
scarce,* we were agreeably surprised to find both of them 
included, f That a translation existed we never imagined, 
till on searching, at the British Museum, for any scarce matters 
relating to the History of the Reformation, we discovered such 
a translation, in the Royal Library, by M. Wood ; and the title 
page distinctly says ROME. Now, that such a work should be 
printed at Rome, in the year 1553, appears sufficiently im- 
probable ; and we therefore suspect that both the translator's 
name, and the place of publication were fictitious, a practice by 
no means unfrequent. * 

We give the title page of the original Latin, and of Wood's 
translation and that translation at length. 



* Fasciculus Rerum Expetendarum et Fugiendarum, by Orthuinus 
Gratius, published at Cologne, in 1535, and republished at London by 
the Rev. Edward Brown, Rector of Sundridge, in Kent, 1690. 

t In the second volume, or appendix, pp. 800 820. As these 
volumes are very scarce, and contain some extremely curious tracts, we 
shall insert, at the end of this appendix, a list of the contents ; and which 
those, who are engaged in the controversy with the papists, may find it 
convenient to consult. 

$ Mr. Todd (Defence of Cranmer, li. Life of Cranmer, vol. i. 324.) 
says that this translation was printed at Rouen. Whereas Professor 
Bliss, in his new edition of Wood's Athen. Oxon. (vol. i. pp. 295. 371.) 
alleges there were two editions ; one at Roan, in 1553, and the other at 
Rom. 1553; that the translator was Michael Wood, a printer; and 
that both editions are in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. 
Thus the Jesuit's Catechism, by the famous Etienne Pasquier, 
professes to be published "A Ville Franche." 1602. 



STEPHANI GARDINERI, EPISCOPI WINTON, 

DE VERA OBEDIENTIA ORATIO; 

UNA CUM PR^EFATIONE EDMUNDI BONNERI, 

tac. Hetcwtt. 



(POSTEA VERd EPISC. LONUINENS1S PINQUISSIMI ET SANGUINOLENTl) 



Serenissinwe Regive Majestatis Anglice in Dania Legati, 



CAPITA NOTABILIORA DICT.E ORAT1ONIS COMPLECTENTB. 



In qua etiam ostenditur Causam Controversiae quae inter ipsam Sereniss. Reg. Maj. et 

Episcopum R&manum existit, longe aliter ac diversius se habere quam hactenus 

a vulgo putatum sit. 



JUXTA EDITIONEM HAMBURG ENSEM, EX OFFICINA FRANCISCI 
RHODI, MENSE JANUAR. MDXXXVI. 



DE VERA OBEDIENTIA; 

&n ration maU* in Eattne, 

BY THE RIGHT REVERENDS FATHER IN GOD, 

STEPHAN BISHOP OF WICHESTRE, 

-HOW 

LORDE CHAUNCELOUR OF ENGLANDE: 

s, 

of IStrmcntre 



THAN ARCHIDEACON OF LEICESTRE, AND THE KINGES MAIESTIES 
EMBASSADOUR IN DENMARKE, AND NOW BISHOP OF LONDON: 



TOUCHING TRUE OBEDIENCE. 



PRINTED AT HAMBURGH, IN LATINE, IN OFFICINA FRANCISCI 
RHODI, MENSE JANUARIS, 1536. 



AND NOW TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISHE, AND PRINTED EFTSONES, IN 

HOME, BEFORE THE CASTLE OF S. ANGEL, AT THE SIGNE OP 

S. PETER, IN NOVEMBRE, ANNO DO. MDLIII. 



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE. 



I HAVE heretofore, with no small admiration, read a certain 
sermon, made in English, before our late Sovereign Lord 
King Henry VIII., about fourteen years past, by Doctor 
Tonstal, then Bishop of Durham, and set forth in print, belike 
for his own glory or rather purgation, being suspected, and not 
without cause, to be a favourer of the pretended authority and 
antichristian power of the Bishop of Rome ; whereof he is bent 
at this day, with other his accomplices, to shew himself, that 
sermon notwithstanding, not only to be a friendly favourer, 
but an open diligent proctor. And a certain oration also written 
in Latin, by Doctor Samson, then Bishop of Chichester, and 
now the double-faced epicureous Bite-sheep of Coventry and 
Lichfield ; as well for the proof and assertion of the King's 
supremacy, by the undoubted truth of God's unfailing word, as 
of the just abrogation of the said Bishop of Rome's feigned 
power out of England. 

By which sermon and oration, I being indifferently instructed 
in the truth for those days, in some points, cannot choose but 
marvel somewhat, at this their so sudden alteration of mind and 
proceedings, presently seen to all men's understanding. Howbeit 
forasmuch as Tonstal, hath been long reputed a still dreaming 
Saturn, always imagining mischief; and Samson an idle-bellied 
carnal epicure, which for worldly honour and paltry pelf's sake, 
hath everholden with the hare and ran with the hounds, as they 

* So Anthony Wood, vol. i. 371. Bliss; but Mr- Todd calls it his 
" Admonition." Life of Cranrner, vol. i. 324. 



Ixvi 



saj ; and if he were bidden, would say, Christ was an hangman, 
and his Father a thief ; I counted not much upon them, nor 
thought that their sermon and oration proceeded of any 
persuasion of conscience, but to serve the time, as the common 
practice of that foxy generation is. 

But now of late I chanced to read an excellent, and a right 
notable oration, entitled De Vera Obedientia, made in Latin 
about twenty years past, by Dr. Stephen Gardiner, then Bishop 
of Winchester, now Lord Chancellor and common cut throat of 
England ; touching as well the King's supremacy and absolute 
power (under God) of the Church of England, and the necessary 
divorce (as he -calleth it) of the said King Henry VIII., from the 
Queen's Mother that now is ; together with the lawful and chaste 
marriage (for so he termeth the matter) had between the said 
King and Queen Anne, to consist by the unfailing almighty 
word of God. As also concerning the false feigned authority 
and usurped power of the Bishop of Rome, and unlawful or 
unadvised oaths and vows; joined with the preface of doughty 
Doctor Bonner, then Archdeacon of Leicester, gaping to 
be a Bishop, as he is now (by the way of usurpation) of London, 
for the commendation and praise of the same oration. 

And forasmuch as Winchester confesseth in the same, his 
long advised deliberation, before he was persuaded (by the 
truth) of the King's supremacy : and seeing he was the chief 
procurer and labourer, at that time, of the King's said divorce 
and second marriage : and now even he, with his blow-belly 
butcherly brother Bonner, turning like weathercocks exsye versie 
as the wind bloweth, do not go about traiterously to repell the 
just and right supreme power and authority, incident by God's 
own word and law, to the imperial crown of England ; abusing 
and bewitching the Queen's grace's lenity, and scrupulous 
perplexity, but also (like seditious and most antichristian angels 
ofsatan) to set up their father, antichrist of Rome,, in this realm 
again; I have thought it good to turn the same oration and